Jumping out was the only option: UK woman who escaped molestation

Mar 25, 2013, 10:28 IST | Agencies

The British tourist who leapt out of a hotel room in Agra last week to avoid being raped recounts her horror and lambastes the attitude of Indian men

The London woman who leapt from a hotel balcony in India, fearing she was about to be raped by the manager Sachin Chauhan, spoke about the moment when the hotel manager was about to break into her room and rape her.

Horror hotel: The victim says the manager of the hotel showed up at her door at 3.45 am and continued knocking on her door for 45 minutes, though she never asked for a wake-up call. Pic/AFP

The victim had been travelling alone across India for three weeks when last week’s incident occurred. She said she feared for her life when two men tried to force their way into her room at a hotel near the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Her terrifying experience – has resulted in the owner of the Hotel Agra Mahal, facing charges of harassment. She wanted to speak out to warn all women travelling in India that they needed to be aware of their personal safety.

She said, “The way the men treat women and their attitude to sexual harassment and sexual assault is wrong. If they don’t think there is anything wrong with their attitudes and behaviour, this kind of thing will carry on.”

She said she had stayed at the hotel for two nights. “There have been reports that I asked the owner of the hotel for a wake-up call at 3.45 am on the morning he came to my room, but that is untrue.”

“He just turned up at my door, knocked and, when I opened it, was standing there holding two bottles of massage oil. He told me he wanted to give me a free massage and shower. He was drunk.

I don’t know why he targeted me because I hadn’t had any other problems with him. Maybe it’s because I’m small and he knew I was in the room on my own,” she added.

The victim who returned to the UK on Friday after giving a statement to the police in Agra, said that when she refused him, he tried to enter the room but she managed to push him back and lock the door.

She says he continued knocking on the door for 10 minutes, so she screamed for help and began hitting the door in the hope it would wake other guests. The victim said that the owner was still trying to force his way into the room after 45 minutes.

When he refused to go away, she barricaded herself inside. “By hook or by crook this person — or persons — were going to get into my room. I’m 100% certain. And there was only one way out, to jump two floors.”

She jumped from her second-floor balcony to one on the first floor – and then from there to the ground, injuring her right leg as she landed.

She then ran to a nearby road and flagged down an auto rickshaw driver, who took her to the local police station. “I really can’t thank that rickshaw driver enough,” said the victim, who is still limping badly and has extensive bruising around her foot and ankle.

“I really do think I’ve been very lucky. I only have superficial injuries to my leg but I am still shocked and feeling anxious about what happened. The Indian police said it could be six months to a year before the case goes to court but when it does, I’m going to be ready for it. I will go back if I have to in order to give evidence.” 

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