India to have separate tourist police: minister

December 11th, 2008 - 9:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Ambika SoniNew Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) India is constituting a separate tourist-friendly police force manned by former army personnel for the security and safety of travellers, said Tourism Minister Ambika Soni Thursday.Informing the Lok Sabha, Soni said the tourism ministry in consultation with the ministries of home and defence and state governments had framed guidelines for forming the force called, Tourist Security Organisation.

“The guidelines have been sent to the state governments and union territories,” the minister said.

The ministry had first mooted the idea of a separate tourism-friendly police after the death of a 15-year-old British tourist girl in Goa in February.

The ministry also advised states to heighten security at all government-run and private hotels following the Mumbai terror attacks. More than 170 people, including 26 foreigners, were killed in the Nov 26 attack in India’s financial capital.

Soni said the governments of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa have already deployed tourist police.

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