A Belgian woman landed in New Delhi on December 6th last year and her 24 hours stay in Delhi soon turned into a nightmare. She was allegedly duped and harassed by some men posing as ‘police officers’ due to which she had to return to her country scared and horror-struck.
According to Indian Express, the tourist, Esther Deleu wrote to the Belgian Embassy upon returning to her country. The complaint was further shared with the Ministry of External Affairs.
Esther’s ordeal started when she was headed to her hotel in an auto rickshaw, after buying herself a SIM card. She was allegedly stopped at Minto Road by two men who showed her ‘cards of police’. They claimed that the area was shut off because of a protest, according to The Hindu.
The two men gave her the address of a ‘police center’. The auto rickshaw dropped her off at the given address where there were 6 men in uniform.
She was allegedly shown videos of a protest, which the men claimed was happening ‘live’. According to The Hindu, she was questioned whether her jewellery is made of gold or not-
“He [one of the men in uniform] also asked me whether my jewellery was made of gold and then told me that I must remove them immediately as it would cut my fingers.”
She was also allegedly duped into believing that the hotel she booked for her stay has cancelled her booking. After which she was given an address of a travel agency in Central Delhi.
At the travel agency she was made to talk to a few hotels for booking. According to The Hindu, in her complaint she wrote,
“They could sense I am overwhelmed by the situation. I started to worry and was tired after wandering for five hours. They offered me a few hotels, which I said no to because they were expensive. Exhausted, I said yes to the one that suit me. I paid $40 cash.”
According to Indian Express, then she was taken on a ‘long trek’ to the hotel, where she was given a room with no internet connectivity and windows.
“I locked myself inside the room as people knocked on the door. I was paralysed… Several people started knocking at my door and I barricaded myself. “
Amidst this nightmare, her SIM card activated and she was able to contact an acquaintance in Rishikesh. That friend contacted the hotel where Esther was supposed to stay and they informed that the booking was not cancelled.
According to Indian Express, finally, the hotel’s manager came to get her. Horrified at what had just happened with her she went back to her country and after 2 months she gathered the courage to file a complaint about her ordeal.
Investigation is underway after the Ministry wrote to Delhi Police. Police has filed a case under Section 4-(a) of the Delhi Prevention of Touting and Malpractices against Tourists Act at Connaught Place.