Saturday, February 1, 2014

India: French Tourist, 57, Assaulted, Face Slashed By Mentally Ill Assailant Who "Hated Foreigners"

According to http://www.mumbaimirror.com, a drug addict, Safal Mulla, 22, was arrested in Mumbai for assaulting and slashing the face with a sharp object of a French tourist Caroline Claudon, 57, who arrived on December 18, 2013. 

Mulla's explanation to police for the unprovoked attack was that he "hated foreigners."

The Frenchwoman was reportedly attacked at 1900 hours on Thursday (January 30). A passerby came to her aid and contacted police.

The crime victim had arrived in Mumbai in the morning and checked into the Salvation Army Red Shield Guest House in Colaba a section in Mumbai, after spending around four weeks in Gokarna, a temple town in Karnataka. 

COMMENT: Tragically, Ms. Claudon, a social worker who was traveling solo in India, is scheduled to board a flight back home on Saturday (February 1), but fears her return to France may be delayed after being administered ten stitches for a deep cut on her right cheek. 

Claudon was being treated at St George's Hospital. "I have visited India several times and have never faced such a horrifying situation. I was taking a walk in the evening when this man grabbed me by the neck, and repeatedly slashed my face. He didn't try to steal anything, and started to run away, but I collapsed," she said. 

Mulla was taken into custody within minutes following the attack, thanks to  Idris Sathalia, 32, and Husain Saylawala, 34, who were both on their way home after attending a Dawoodi Bohra rally at Azad Maidan, rushing the bleeding Claudon to St.George's Hospital. 

Claudon, a Parisian, has been visiting India for the last six years, and has donated money and clothes in several ashrams [a hermitage, monastic community, or other place of religious retreat for Hindus.] 

"I have always found India very spiritual and friendly, but this incident has left me shaken. I don't know whether I'll ever be back," she said. 

In August 2013, a US tourist, Michelle Mark, was attacked and robbed of her mobile phone by a drug addict in the women's restroom of a local train station. 

As most of our readers know all too well, India is the second most populated country on Earth, with a population of 1.2 billion residents.

It should be noted that India's police service, in all its forms, is clearly insufficient to proactively prevent crime, which is why so many residents and foreign travelers alike are victimized.

I continue to discourage solo foreign travelers from visiting India. 

Regrettably, Ms. Claudon is obviously one foreign traveler who is unlikely to return to India.