A 14-year-old British girl was allegedly assaulted by a tourist guide hired to show her around the city.
The girl alleged that the guide — hired by the group she was travelling with — attempted to rape her on Friday night in Southwest Delhi.
According to police, the group of 29 young British nationals had come to India a week ago and had been sightseeing around the Capital.
They had hired 27-year-old Murlidharan as their guide and he had been staying with the group since then.
On Friday night, the group checked into a guesthouse —Ashoka Niketan in Kapashera — as it is close to the international airport from where they had to catch a flight on Saturday, said police.
The victim alleged that Murlidharan attempted to rape her after entering her room during the night. However, she managed to free herself and call her friends —staying in adjacent rooms — for help, said police.
The employees at the guesthouse then called the police.
According to police, they have arrested Muralidharan — who is a resident of Safdurjung Enclave in south Delhi — and booked him on the charge of attempt to rape.
Shocking as the incident itself is, it has even more worrying implications, considering that over one lakh tourists set to visit Delhi for the Commonwealth Games in October 2010.
How will the government ensure tourists are protected from potential touts and criminals is the question doing the rounds.
“One should always hire a registered guide. People should be careful of those who claim to provide cheap bargains,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Operations and IGI) Satyendra Garg. (See box)
Significantly, Murlidharan was not registered with any government organisation, said police.
Meanwhile, the British minor has left for the United Kingdom.
“After giving her statement before a Metropolitan Magistrate in the morning, the girl and her group, all British, left for their country,” said a police officer on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to media.