Crime

German National Allegedly Attacked at UP Railway Station

Holger Ereek said a railway supervisor assaulted him at Robertsganj, while the accused claimed that the German national hit him first.
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Just two weeks after a Swiss couple was attacked in Uttar Pradesh, a German national has accused a railway supervisor of assaulting him on Nov. 4 in the Sonbhadra district of the state. Holger Ereek had arrived at Sonbhadra from Varanasi to visit the Agori Fort, and said that he was attacked at the Robertsganj railway station.

The police, however, were not convinced with Ereek’s version of events. The accused Aman Kumar had a different version of events to narrate to the police. Kumar said: “I am innocent… the German national punched me when I said ‘welcome to India’ to him. He even spit on me.”

According to Anand Kumar, the Additional Director General of Police who addressed a media briefing in Lucknow, the German national may have some “anger management issues”.

“He was aggressive with a railway supervisor who intervened too… and later, the police post in-charge,” the police officer said, adding that the railway supervisor had just inquired about Ereek’s well-being, which angered him. Ereek hit the railway employee, who pushed him in retaliation.

Ereek already faces a stabbing charge for an incident that happened in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district in July last year. The case also led to his passport and visa being impounded. Ereek, who sustained minor injuries, declined to speak to reporters, saying, “India have rules… the Supreme Court says privacy is a fundamental law. So please don’t disturb my privacy. I am here to launch an FIR and that’s it.”

Ram Pratap Singh, the Superintendent of Police in Sonbhadra, said that the incident was a “squabble”, NDTV reported. “It is not a serious incident,” he added.

This incident comes on the heels of an attack on a Swiss tourist couple at Fatehpur Sikri, which sparked widespread outrage. Quentin Jeremy Clerc, 24, suffered a fractured skull and nerve damage near his right ear, while his girlfriend Marie Droz had a broken arm. They were hit with sticks and stones by a group of men after they asked for pictures with Droz. When the couple lay wounded on the road after the attack, witnesses took videos on their mobile phones. The case was brought to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s attention who demanded answers from the state.

Five people, including three underage boys, were arrested in this case. Following the incident, Sulkhan Singh, the state Director General of Police, issued guidelines, including deployment of policemen in plainclothes, more patrolling and installation of CCTV cameras, to prevent such crimes at tourist spots, The Hindustan Times reported.

In another case of assault on a foreign national, the manager of the Vrindavan branch of UCO Bank was arrested last week for allegedly raping a 20-year-old Russian girl repeatedly since she came to India in September. The girl and the manager, Mahendra Prasad Singh, became friends on Facebook in 2016.

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