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Attack on Swiss couple can have negative impact on India’s image: Alphons writes to Adityanath

Tourism minister KJ Alphons wrote a letter to Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Aditynath in which he said incidents such as attack on the Swiss couple were detrimental to the efforts in promoting India as a tourism destination.

india Updated: Oct 26, 2017 17:24 IST
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Swiss couple attacked,Swiss couple attacked in Agra,Yogi Adityanath
In his letter to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, KJ Alphons said he was ‘deeply concerned’ over the attacks.(PTI)

The attack on a Swiss couple at Fatehpur Sikri could have a negative impact on the image of the country, Union minister of state for tourism KJ Alphons said in a letter to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday.

The incident, which took place on Sunday, came to light a day after the conclusion of the Paryatan Parv — India’s biggest tourism festival which aimed at increasing the tourist footfall in the country.

“You would kindly appreciate that such incidents negatively impact our image and are detrimental to our efforts in promoting India as a tourism destination,” Alphons wrote in his letter to Adityanath.

Quentin Jeremy Clerc, 24, and his girlfriend Marie Droz, 24, who came to India on September 30, were allegedly attacked by a group of men near the railway station at Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh. The Swiss nationals were reportedly left bloodied and bruised by the attackers.

In his letter to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Alphons said he was “deeply concerned” over the attacks.

“A fast and speedy response in identifying and ensuring speedy action, including conviction of the guilty, would be reassuring, as also a good message of our efforts to prevent recurrence of such incidents,” the minister wrote.

Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, who held the tourism portfolio before the recent reshuffle and who played a significant role in organising the ‘Paryatan Parv’, also said the incident was a matter of shame for the country.

“I think the foreign minister has reacted to it. It is a matter of law-and-order, but as the culture minister and a human being, I condemn the attack on the foreign tourists. It is unfortunate and should not have happened. It is a matter of shame for us,” he told PTI.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has sought information from the Uttar Pradesh government on the incident.

Meanwhile, the Swiss couple is on the way to recovery, the doctors at the hospital where they were admitted have said. While Clerc has been shifted to a cabin from the ICU, Droz, who has a fractured arm, has been discharged after treatment.

According to the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB), crimes against foreign tourists had reduced by 29.4 per cent in 2015 as against the previous year.

In 2014, 384 of such cases were reported from across the country, the NCRB said, adding that the number came down to 271 in 2015.

These findings are part of the first analytical report of the NCRB on crimes against foreign tourists. The bureau has been profiling such crimes since 2014.

First Published: Oct 26, 2017 17:24 IST