Thursday, May 3, 2012

India: French Tourist Robbed, Pushed from Moving Train Near Karnal, Dies

According to Indian media, Frank Wilfred, a French citizen estimated to be in his 20s, died earlier today (May 3), after being severely beaten on a moving train (Sachkand Express) in northern India on Monday (April 30).  From all indications, the victim was pushed from the moving train while unconscious.

After being found on the tracks and rushed to a nearby hospital, Mr. Wilfred never regained consciousness. The victim reportedly boarded the train in New Delhi, but his actual destination was not known.

Police have arrested a train ticket examiner who was on the train, Manoj Kumar, on suspicion of assaulting Wilfred and have charged him with attempted murder. Wilfred’s passport and other belongings were found in the suspect's possession.

COMMENT: As I have said in numerous postings in the past, India is a country that can be very hard on foreign tourists and travelers. Larceny, armed robbery, aggravated assault and rape are all crimes that occur with increasing regularity, largely because of the population density, human desperation and economic plight.

India is definitely not a wise destination choice for novice and naive solo travelers. Consequently, all travelers, but particularly those traveling alone, MUST have a strong sense of personal security awareness and should be alert to risks at all times.

Karnal is capital of the Indian state of Haryana. It is midway between Delhi and Chandigarh, being 123 km (76 mi) north of Delhi and 126 km (78 mi) south of Chandigarh, on the National Highway NH-1, which is famous as the Grand Trunk Road. Karnal is famous for its world class research and development institutes.