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Tourist allegedly choked to death for complaining about hotel neighbour

A British tourist has died after allegedly being choked by a neighbouring hotel guest he accused of being too noisy.

Londoner Amitpal Singh Bajaj, 34, was reportedly killed by 53-year-old Norwegian Roger Bullman, who was staying in the room next door at the luxury Centara Grand Hotel on Karon Beach in Phuket, Thailand.

Bajaj complained to his neighbour, who shared a partitioned balcony, for making too much noise while his family was trying to sleep.

Earlier the family had asked hotel staff to intervene and security guards had twice visited the room of Bullman.

Amitpal’s wife, Bandhna Bajaj, told local media they were originally disturbed at around midnight but then fell asleep, to be wakened at around 4am on Wednesday morning.

The Phuket News reported Amitpal allegedly took a steak knife from his room and confronted Bullman, a fight breaking out between the two as Bullman entered the Londoner’s room through the balcony door.

Bullman told police that Amitpal stabbed him in his left shoulder before he used his martial art skills to grip the Briton in a choke hold and continued choking him.

Bandhna said: “My husband tried to block the man and move me and my son away.

“As the man was kicking, punching and just beating him up, my husband told me to please leave and save our son.”

She said she ran from the property and hid with her son under a tree, calling the reception desk for help. She learned of her husband’s death later that morning after he was taken to hospital.

“My husband sacrificed his life to save my son’s life and mine,” she said. “He will always be our hero.”

Bullman has been charged with causing harm resulting in death. He told the police he had acted instinctively and was not intentionally trying to kill Bajaj.

A memorial event was held on the weekend at the Sikh temple where Bajaj was a member, a spokesperson saying the community was “shocked and saddened” to learn of the death of a man “well-known, admired and respected in the community for his seva (voluntary work)”.

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Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson is the editor of Accomnews. You can reach her at any time with questions or submissions: editorial@accomnews.co.nz

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