ASI launches probe into death of French tourist at Fatehpur Sikri - Hindustan Times
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ASI launches probe into death of French tourist at Fatehpur Sikri

Sep 23, 2023 06:54 PM IST

The unfortunate incident occurred when the French tourist, identified as Esma Ben Yelles, fell from a platform approximately five feet high.

AGRA Two days after a 61-year-old French woman tourist met a tragic end at the historical monument of Fatehpur Sikri, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Saturday ordered an inquiry into the incident. Joint director general Sanjay Manjul has been entrusted with the task and is set to arrive in Agra to conduct the investigation.

ADM Protocol and CMO Agra conducting magisterial probe at Fatehpur Sikri on Friday at the site where the French woman tourist fell and died. (HT Photo)
ADM Protocol and CMO Agra conducting magisterial probe at Fatehpur Sikri on Friday at the site where the French woman tourist fell and died. (HT Photo)

The unfortunate incident occurred when the French tourist, identified as Esma Ben Yelles, fell from a platform approximately five feet high. The ASI, responsible for the conservation and maintenance of protected monuments across India, swiftly took cognisance of the incident.

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Raj Kumar Patel, the superintending archaeologist for the Agra circle of ASI, confirmed the initiation of the probe while adding, “The Joint Director General-level officer will lead the investigation, as directed by the ASI Director General’s office in Delhi. The findings of the probe committee will determine whether a safety audit of monuments in Agra is warranted.”

Concurrently, a committee led by the district magistrate of Agra is already conducting its own investigation into the tragic accident. Additional district magistrate (protocol) Shairi and chief medical officer Dr AK Srivastava visited the monument on Friday and interacted with ASI officials and private security personnel on site.

District magistrate Bhanu Goswami had earlier formed a three-member committee to investigate the incident, consisting of ADM Protocol Shairi, CMO Agra Dr AK Srivastava, and Assistant Commissioner of Police (Achhnera). Goswami emphasised, “The additional district magistrate (protocol) will probe the incident, including allegations of delays in ambulance availability. Those found negligent in their duties will face appropriate action.”

Eyewitnesses recounted the tragic accident, explaining that the victim, Esma Ben Yelles, had been leaning against a wooden railing that unexpectedly gave way. As a result, she plummeted from the five-foot-high platform, landing on the stone floor below. Police reported that the woman sustained a severe head injury and was rushed to Agra City, located approximately 40 kilometers away. Tragically, she succumbed to her injuries during transit.

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