Sunday, August 27, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Spanish woman, son murdered
Tribune News Service

SHIMLA, Aug 26 In another alarming incident of killing of foreign tourists in Kulu valley, a Spanish woman and her son were brutally murdered by miscreants along a trekking route and their money and other valuables looted.

A British national, Martin Young, was seriously injured in the attack. Those killed have been identified as Ms Maqueles and her son, Christ.

The Director-General of Police, Mr A.K. Puri, said that the miscreants attacked the three foreign tourists at Tundabhuj, a trekking route in the Parvati area at about 10 p.m. yesterday, where they were camping for the night. The spot is nearly 8 hours from Manikaran.

The three foreigners were mercilessly beaten by at least four attackers who robbed them of Rs 18,000, US$ 100, a camera and their passports. They were later thrown down a deep gorge.

The incident was reported to the police by Mr Rajeev Sachdeva, a senior manager of the NHPC, on his satellite phone.

This is the second such incident in Kulu district within a month. A German tourist was killed and another seriously wounded in an armed attack at Balughera near Manali last month.

The SP, Kulu, Anurag Garg, said the British Embassy had been informed about the incident and a helicopter was being arranged to airlift the injured tourist and retrieve the bodies.

Mr Garg said detailed information about the incident was awaited as there was no wireless set or phone in the area.

A doctor, along with an ambulance, has been rushed to the vicinity, but it will take some hours for help the injured tourist as its an 8-hour trek from the roadhead. The DGP said that the exit points of the trekking route in the districts of Shimla, Mandi, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti have been blocked to nab the culprits.

This is not an isolated incident. At least 16 foreign tourists have gone missing in Kulu valley during the past few years.

It is suspected that some of the missing tourists were killed and their valuables looted. A skeleton of a foreigner was recovered about two years ago and some passports stolen from foreigners in the Kulu area were recovered in Rajasthan, where they had allegedly been tampered with, some months ago.

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