Delhi: Tourist Extorted and Assaulted In Pahadganj, Safety Tips for Travelers

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Delhi, 23rd April 2024: In a disturbing turn of events, a tourist’s search for budget-friendly accommodation in Paharganj, Delhi, turned into a nightmare. The incident, involving extortion and assault, has raised serious concerns about safety in budget hotels in the area.


A recent incident reported by Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj, a noted social activist, has shed light on the darker side of budget travel in Delhi’s bustling Paharganj district. According to Bhardwaj’s account on Twitter, a tourist, who was in the city for a conference, faced a harrowing ordeal after choosing to stay in a low-cost hotel.


The tourist, whose identity has been kept confidential, returned to his hotel room to retrieve his luggage when he was ambushed by several men accompanied by a woman who quickly disrobed. Before he could grasp the situation, he was physically assaulted and photographed in compromising positions. The assailants then demanded ₹15,000 (approximately $185) and threatened to release the photographs if he failed to comply.


The tourist complied with the demand under duress and chose not to report the incident to local authorities, citing a lack of trust due to alleged police involvement in the extortion scheme. This allegation points to a more systemic issue of corruption and safety in low-budget accommodations in areas popular with tourists.


Safety Tips for Travelers:


Check Hotel Reviews: Always read up-to-date reviews from various sources before booking a hotel. Sites like TripAdvisor, Google Reviews, and can offer insights into the safety and quality of accommodations.

Verify Location: Ensure the hotel’s location is in a safe neighborhood. Tools like Google Maps and local travel forums can provide valuable information on the area’s safety profile.

Secure Valuables: Utilize hotel safes or secure lockers to store valuables and travel documents, especially in budget accommodations.

Use Reputable Booking Sites: Book hotels through reputable platforms that offer customer support and verified reviews to avoid scams.

Local Contacts: Keep the contact information of your country’s embassy or consulate handy, and inform a trusted local contact about your travel itinerary.