An Australian tourist in India has been beaten to within an inch of his life by an angry mob who accused him of drunkenly ‘misbehaving’ with women in their village.
The Melbourne man was pictured bound and bloodied in hospital after being tied to a power pole and assaulted by the villagers in Karnakata state, in the country’s south-west.
The tourist, named in local media as William K James, 35, visited the village 15km from the town of Badami in an inebriated state after getting off a bus, police allege.
Australian tourist in India (pictured bloodied and bound in hospital), named by local media as William K James, 35, has been beaten to within an inch of his life by a mob after they accused him of drunkenly ‘misbehaving’ with women in their village
The victim (pictured in hospital) had been making his way by bus from Badami to the city of Bagalkot in the country’s south-west when he started ‘misbehaving’ after deciding to get off at the village of Konanakoppa, police allege
James, who has been in India since September 17, had been making his way by bus from Badami to the city of Bagalkot when he decided to get off at the village of Konanakoppa, police said.
Bagalkot superintendent of police Lokesh Jagalasar told Times of India he then allegedly starting misbehaving with women.
‘When some men tried to stop him, he reportedly made a bid to attack them. The men tied him up to an electric post and assaulted him,’ Mr Jagalasar alleged.
Police were then called and the accused Australian, who the officer said sustained ‘grievous injuries’, was taken to a Bagalkot hospital.
‘He is out of danger,’ the superintendent added.
Mr Jagalasar said authorities were trying to find out why the tourist got off the bus at the village despite having a ticket for somewhere else, ABC News reported.
‘When some men tried to stop him, he reportedly made a bid to attack them. The men tied him up to an electric post and assaulted him,’ Bagalkot superintendent of police Lokesh Jagalasar alleged (James pictured being wheeled through a Bagalkot hospital)
An FIR (first information report) has been registered against the villagers who assaulted the tourist.
Police added multiple people have also been questioned.
Authorities believe the language barrier between the Australian and the villagers may have contributed to the alleged incident.
The Australian embassy has been informed.
‘We are trying to ascertain how many people were involved in the assault and their identities,’ Mr Jagalasar told The News Minute.
‘We have not found videos of the assault but we will be forming a team to investigate the incident swiftly.’
The charges listed under the FIR, which under Indian law puts the process of criminal justice in motion, are voluntarily causing hurt and voluntarily causing grievous hurt.
Police have also detained multiple suspects, local media reported.
Badami, 15km away from the village, is famous for its Hindu cave temples (pictured) and police said it was popular with foreign tourists, but that assaults in the district against them was not common
Badami is famous for its Hindu cave temples and police said it was popular with foreign tourists, but that assaults in the district against them was not common.
Temples in the town of more than 25,000 people are cut into red sandstone outcrops and is a popular hotspot for domestic and international tourists.
Badami is known historically for being the capital of the Chalukya kings between AD 540 to 757.
India has experienced a spate of mob lynchings in rural areas in recent years linked to the spread of rumours on the social media platform WhatsApp.
In the space of four months last year, more than a dozen people were killed in lynchings related, according to BBC News.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for comment.