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Rape of foreigners may hit tourism in Rajasthan

By Staff
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Jaipur, Apr 19 (UNI) The recent rape cases involving foreign tourists in Rajasthan might impact the booming tourism industry in the state, officials and common people alike feel.

The holy town of Pushkar, which witnesses the highest number of foreign tourists, including women travelling alone, is reeling under shock as news of the rape of the Japanese tourist spread.

The town, whose economy is entirely dependent on tourists, is bound to be affected after the incident, its residents said.

''The incident is unfortunate and will send negative signals to the foreign tourists,'' Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) chairman Rakesh Saini admitted.

However, he noted that such incidents were mostly happening in private hotels and guest houses.

''The entire incident seems preplanned as Japanese tourist was made unconscious first after which the rape took place.

However, even one such incident brings a bad name to the entire place and these crimes must be stopped at any cost,'' he told UNI.

Social activist and People Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) incharge here Kavita Srivastav noted that the desert state recorded the highest number of rape cases in the country per year.

''Not just foreign tourists but every woman is a potential rape victim in the state,'' she claimed, adding that the state police was not doing enough in cases of violence against women.

''Although the speedy disposal of the Alwar rape case involving a German research scholar, by a Fast Track court, shows the system has the capacity, but it does not take the pains in cases involving Indians, especially rural women,'' she charged, reiterating that such speedy disposals should be the norm and not a one-off case, especially for foreign women.

However, BJP's women wing chief Suman Sringi disagreed that case of sexual crimes against women were on the rise, despite the presence of a woman Chief Minister.

''Our government is taking enough steps to ensure the safety of women. We hold meetings from time to time to make rural women aware about such criminals and not to be deceived by them,'' she said, adding that the quick verdict in German rape case this month shows that the government is committed to protect women.

''Today the media is so aware. We take immediate steps in cases, and these are highlighted by the media. The need of the hour is awareness,'' Ms Sringi added.

Rajasthan witnessed three major rape cases involving foreigners in the last few months. The much-publicised Alwar rape case took place last month while another German woman was raped by a auto driver and his helper in Jodhpur last year .

UNI RRT VD HT1802

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