Police to seek speedy trial of accused who attacked British couple

Patna, Nov 7 (IANS) Two men arrested for alleged misbehaviour and attempt to rob a British couple along the banks of the Ganga river at Pandarak in rural Patna will face a speedy trial, police said on Tuesday.

Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Manu Maharaj said the police would seek a speedy trial of the two accused.

"We will file a chargesheet and soon approach the local court for a speedy trial in this case to punish them," Maharaj told IANS here.

He said action and punishment in such cases was necessary to send a strong message to anti-social and criminal elements, who treat foreign tourists as soft targets.

Maharaj said the couple from Scotland were on an adventure trip to Kolkata from Haridwar through the waterway. The accused misbehaved with them and tried to loot their belongings on Sunday in Pandarak "diara" (riverine island) area where they had pitched a tent for the night stay.

The husband-wife team of Matthew Kidd, in his early 30s, and Jessica Kidd, in her late 20s, both school teachers in Glasgow, were taking rest in their tent when the two men attacked them. But the couple managed to escape after a fight with them and raised an alarm.

"Some villagers heard their cries for help and they came to protect them and chased away the miscreants, who fled the site taking advantage of darkness."

Matthew then lodged an FIR with the local police against the accused and later met Maharaj in Patna and sought his help for police action.

Maharaj said the couple had resumed their onward adventure journey on the Ganga.

The couple reached New Delhi on September 13 and after visiting Rishikesh, started their journey from Haridwar on a raft on September 27. They were moving downstream in their boat with a plastic tent to sleep in, GPS-enabled navigation device, dry fruits, biscuits, water bottles and medicines.

The couple should reach Kolkata on December 14 after covering a distance of about 2,150 km in 78 days and from there they would return to Scotland.


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