US tourist alleges sexual harassment on Delhi streets, hotels
The woman, who is a travel video blogger, alleged she had been “groped and grabbed” while walking on the streets in central Delhi and received a vulgar proposal by a passerby despite the presence of her boyfriend.delhi Updated: Sep 13, 2018 10:11 IST
A woman tourist from the United States of America has taken to YouTube to allege sexual assault on Delhi’s streets and harassment inside a hotel in Paharganj during her stay in July.
The woman, who is also a travel video blogger (vlogger), alleged she had been “groped and grabbed” while walking on the streets in central Delhi and received a vulgar proposal by a passerby despite the presence of her boyfriend. She accused the staff of a Connaught Place hotel of sharing her personal details with a “stalker”. She also alleged that workers of a Paharganj hotel made vulgar calls on her intercom.
The Paharganj hotel was associated with Oyo Rooms – a company with tie-ups to budget hotels - at the time of the alleged crime. A spokesperson for Oyo Rooms identified the hotel as Vishal Guest House and said that they have “delisted the property and terminated their relationship with the hotel owner” after the alleged crime came to their notice. The spokesperson said that Oyo Rooms is in touch with the woman to support her.
Mohammad Farid Alam, manager of Vishal Guest House, said though it was unlikely that the staff misbehaved with the woman, an internal enquiry has been initiated against them. “We have CCTV cameras on that floor, but recordings of only one month are saved,” said Alam.
Alam claimed that it was the hotel that had cut ties with Oyo Rooms and not the other way round because of delayed payments and poor hotel rates. Oyo Rooms refuted the claim.
Even though the woman claimed that there is an “ongoing police investigations” in these cases, the Delhi Police said they are yet to receive a complaint. “We encourage the woman to approach us. Simultaneously, we are identifying the hotels she has blamed,” said Mandeep Singh Randhawa, deputy commissioner of police (central).
In her Youtube video that she uploaded on Saturday, the woman said she was on a three-week visit to India during which she also visited Delhi. She was accompanied by her boyfriend.
She accused the staff of The LaLiT in Connaught Place of sharing her personal details such as full name and room number with a “stalker”. That forced her to move to a budget hotel in Paharganj. “We are investigating the matter. We remain committed to the safety and security of all our guests,” said Gaurav Mishra, General Manager - Marketing & Communications, The LaLiT
The problems at the Paharganj hotel began just four days before her departure, she claimed. She said her boyfriend left four days before her and when the hotel staff got to know of it, they allegedly began stalking her.
She would allegedly receive calls on her intercom with a man at the other end making “sexual noises”. The calls were allegedly followed by the staff intentionally switching off her air-conditioner and Wi-Fi connections to look for an excuse to enter her room.
The woman later took to the comments section of YouTube to explain that she couldn’t contact the police because of absence of wi-fi or a working phone. She said that her video led to Oyo Rooms and the Lalit hotel acting against the suspects. Her video also prompted many tourists sharing similar experiences in Delhi.
First Published: Sep 13, 2018 03:22 IST