A 30-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly harassing a Belgian tourist in December after which she left Delhi within a day, police said. The accused, identified as Imran Latha, hails from Khayyam Chowk in Srinagar and is a resident of east Vinod Nagar. He is a travel agent and owns a shop in NDMC market in outer circle of Connaught Place, they said.
"He is being interrogated to identify and find out the whereabouts of two others who brought the Belgian national to his shop in an autorickshaw," Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Madhur Verma said. He, along with his brother, interacted with the Belgian national and cheated her by selling a cheap hotel package and made her believe that her original booking was cancelled because of protests near the hotel, the officer said.
She informed the Belgian embassy about the incident which got in touch with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), which in turn wrote to Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik. The MEA stated the Belgian national, who arrived in Delhi on December 6, 2018, was harassed by several people, including an auto-rickshaw driver and a travel agent, following which the victim left India the next day, police said.
The victim alleged said upon her arrival in Delhi she went to New Delhi Railway Station from the airport. She boarded an autorickshaw from the station which took her to Minto Road, they said. There, the driver stopped in front of two men who impersonating as police personnel told her that due to a demonstration the streets leading to her hotel had been cordoned off and she would require permission from 'tourist police' to proceed further, the MEA said in the complaint.
Guided by the two men to the address of a "police centre", the autorickshaw dropped her at the spot where she found six men in uniform, the complaint said. They told her that the zone is inaccessible and advised her to leave New Delhi. According to the victim, they showed her videos of violent protests, claimed those to be live and even advised her to remove her jewellery.
The accused contacted her hotel where her room was booked and was informed that the booking was cancelled due to some events. The man in uniform then directed her to another auto-rickshaw which took her to a travel agency. After wandering in the city for five hours, she finally settled for a hotel which suited her budget and took a cab there.
The Belgian national claimed the hotel had no windows, no Internet connection and she did not open the door of her room despite people knocking on it, police said. She contacted one of her acquaintance in Rishikesh and narrated the incident. The acquaintance then contacted the hotel where a room was booked for her earlier and was informed that her room was not cancelled.
A staffer from the hotel where she was supposed to stay earlier picked her up from the hotel where she was putting up and she left for her country on December 7, police said. A case has been registered in the matter and police are trying to get in touch with the victim, a police official said.