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Police: India tourist, fearing hotel owner, makes balcony-to-balcony escape

By Jason Hanna, CNN
updated 9:20 AM EDT, Tue March 19, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police: A hotel owner told a woman he had a massage for her
  • The woman jumped from the balcony of her hotel room to another floor
  • She feared the hotel owner and complained of harassment, police say
  • The incident comes amid high-profile assault cases in India

(CNN) -- A British woman touring India dropped from her hotel room's balcony to the one below to escape the hotel's owner, who had been trying to enter her room, police said Tuesday.

The owner was arrested on a harassment complaint, police said. A police official initially told CNN the owner was suspected of attempted rape, but Agra District Police Chief Subhash Dubey later said the woman was complaining only of harassment.

Doctors say the woman, traveling alone in Agra, might have ligament injuries but no fracture from her balcony-to-balcony escape, according to Dubey. She will cut short the rest of her trip and return to the United Kingdom, he said.

The woman locked the door of her room when the owner, Sachin Chauhan, offered her what he said was a preplanned massage, Dubey said. When Chauhan kept knocking on the door and insisted on the service, she left through her balcony, according to Dubey.

The man has denied any intention to assault the woman, Dubey told CNN. He added the woman is feeling afraid, and the police superintendent and two female constables are staying with her.

The incident comes amid a number of high-profile accusations of violence against women in India, and protests demanding that the violence end.

Opinion: End culture of rape in 2013

Last week, five men were accused of raping a Swiss tourist. Police said the men confessed to the crime, which allegedly took place in central India at a camping area near a forest in Datia district. Confessions in police custody are not admissible in court, however, and can be retracted.

That incident sparked demonstrations demanding that lawmakers be held accountable for a lack of law and order.

India was the focus of worldwide attention and national outrage in December after a 23-year-old student was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi. She died in a Singapore hospital from injuries she suffered in the attack.

Read: Rape case 'an awakening' for India, victim's father says

CNN's Samira Said contributed to this report.

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