UK

UK tourist jumps from Agra balcony 'after massage offer'

The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Image caption Large numbers of tourists travel to the city of Agra to visit the Taj Mahal

A British woman has been injured after jumping from a hotel balcony to escape from alleged harassment in Agra, India, local police say.

The woman, in her 30s, told police she asked for a wake-up call at 04:00 but when the hotel owner knocked on her door then, he offered her a massage.

She told police he would not leave so she locked the door and jumped from her balcony to the level below, injuring her leg, before fleeing the hotel.

Police have arrested the hotel owner.

They said he was still in custody and would be charged with sexual harassment in a local magistrates' court on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the British High Commission in India said UK consular officials in Delhi have spoken to the woman and to the local police.

A consular team is travelling to Agra to provide assistance to the woman, he added. The city is home to the Taj Mahal.

The senior superintendent of police in Agra, Subhah Chandra Dubey, told the BBC the woman's injury to her leg ligament had been treated, and she had been moved to another hotel.

She also had two women constables with her for her security, he said.

Female assaults

According to Supt Dubey, the hotel owner claims he had gone to wake the woman up because the hotel staff had tried ringing her on the intercom and when she did not respond, he went to her room.

The Foreign Office recently updated its advice for women visiting India, saying they should use caution and avoid travelling alone on public transport, or in taxis or auto-rickshaws, especially at night.

It added that reported cases of sexual assault against women and young girls were increasing and recent sexual attacks against female visitors in tourist areas and cities show that foreign women were also at risk.

Following an alleged gang rape of a Swiss tourist in Madhya Pradesh state last week, police arrested six people.

The woman was attacked with her husband as they camped in woodland near a village in Datia district.

The arrests came as India's politicians prepared to debate a new law against rape, after the outcry over the fatal assault on a female Delhi student last year.

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