Police, ex-servicemen provide security to tourists

February 26th, 2008 - 7:20 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Ambika Soni

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) Worried about the increasing number of attacks on foreign tourists, especially women, several states in the country have deployed tourist police at important sites. In some states, authorities have also deployed former army personnel.

States like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have deployed tourist police in one form or the other, Tourism Minister Ambika Soni informed the Rajya Sabha Tuesday.

As the police is a state subject, prevention of crime, including crimes against tourists, is the responsibility of the respective governments, she said in reply to an unstarred question.

Following reports of attacks on and harassment of tourists, the tourism ministry has taken up the issue of safety and security of visitors with secretaries of various states.

At a meeting with the state officials, the ministry emphasized that ensuring safety and security of tourists is of paramount importance and state governments must ensure it, Soni said.

While in 2005 almost four million tourists came to India, the figure went up to about 4.45 million in 2006. In 2007, about 4.98 million tourists came to India, she said.

The foreign tourist arrival in January this year has shown an increase of 9.9 percent over the same period in 2007, Soni told the house.

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