Four years after a 21-year-old Japanese tourist disappeared here, the police are clueless about his whereabouts.
S Kota disappeared after visiting the Taj Mahal and other monuments in Agra Sep 5, 2006. A case was registered and 26 people were identified as witnesses. His mother paid several visits to Agra and met senior officials.
Informed sources told IANS that the Japanese embassy approached the Allahabad High Court in September to help speed up investigations and transfer the case if need be.
The court has asked for the details of the case and expressed displeasure at the slow pace of proceedings, in a letter to Agra Deputy Inspector General of police Antony Dev Kumar.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Mukesh Mishra said: "We have sent out a letter to the investigating officer and the DIG, warning them to produce witnesses and speed up the case, or face the consequences. The next date is Dec 2 (Thursday)."
But police officials concerned denied there was any initiative by the courts in the matter.
Antony Dev Kumar said: "There has been no further movement in the case. We will need to check up what information is required by the court. As of date, no information is available with us."
The Taj Ganj police have not been able to summon the suspects and interrogate them, despite several pleas from the prosecution.
Tourism circles, however, feel that the Japanese tourist might have been kidnapped and killed.
"Some young tourists from Japan, Korea and southeast Asian countries often become victims of drug peddlers and homosexuals. Many come not so much to see monuments but for other exotic experiences. This lands them into trouble," an elderly guide told IANS.
Two years ago, three Korean girls were trapped by local touts, raped and assaulted. Police later claimed the girls had become friendly with some local boys.
In Agra, "several women from these countries have married locals and settled down here," a tourist photographer informed IANS.