A 35-year-old Australian man has been beaten by angry villagers who claim he drunkenly wandered into their town and “misbehaved” with women.
William James, from Melbourne, was bound to a post with ropes and viciously assaulted at 9.30am on Tuesday in Konanakoppa near Badami in southwest India, according to Times of India.
It is believed Mr James travelled to Badami two days ago after landing in the country on September 17.
Photos and videos show the bloodied and badly bruised 35-year-old being rushed to a private hospital with ropes hanging off his legs and arms.
Lokesh Jagalasar, the Bagalkot superintendent of police, told Times of India Mr James was inebriated when he arrived in the rural village via bus and misbehaved 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,” he said.
Local police said they have interviewed several villagers over the attack, but believe the incident may have escalated because of the language barrier.
Mr Jagalasar said Mr James had a bus ticket for a different location and does not know why he got off the vehicle in Konanakoppa, according to ABC.
Mr Jagalasar said police have contacted the Australian embassy and “a case has been registered against those who assaulted him.”
Mr James is now recovering in hospital, where police insist he is “safe and sound.”
Badami has become a popular tourist spot known for its rich history and Hindu cave temples.
Earlier this year, five men were lynched in Maharashtra, in India’s west, over child abduction rumours that spread via mobile messaging app WhatsApp.
A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia it “is providing consular assistance, in accordance with the Consular Services Charter, to an Australian man in India. Owing to our privacy obligations, we are unable to provide further details”.
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