October 26, 2017 / 1:07 PM / 10 months ago

India to probe attack on Swiss couple in city of Taj Mahal

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India’s foreign minister on Thursday called for an investigation into a stone-throwing attack that left a young Swiss couple with a skull fracture and a broken arm in the northern city of Agra, home to the famed monument to love, the Taj Mahal.

Indian authorities have faced criticism for weak law enforcement over a spate of recent attacks on foreign tourists, particularly women.

In Sunday’s incident, the boys made lewd comments to Quentin Jeremy Clerc and his friend Marie Droz as they strolled by a train station, asked for selfies and then at some point began pelting them with stones, the Times of India newspaper said.

The attack left 24-year-old Clerc with a fractured skull and a blood clot in his brain while Droz suffered a broken arm, it added.

One man has been arrested over the attack, a police officer told Reuters by telephone from Agra.

Police had registered a case and expected to make more arrests, said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Reuters could not immediately reach the couple to seek comment.

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said she had asked for a report from authorities in Uttar Pradesh, the state of which Agra is a part.

“I have asked for a report from the state government. My officers will reach them (the couple) in the hospital,” Swaraj said in a message on social network Twitter.

India’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the issue.

In a travel advisory before the incident, the Swiss government warned of India’s high crime rates, with foreign travellers increasingly targeted in rapes and sexual offences.

Reporting by Aditi Shah; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Clarence Fernandez

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