Note on Safety and Security of Women Tourists
In recent past, a few isolated incidents have been reported in India in which foreign women travellers were sexually assaulted. In all these incidents, the accused were apprehended by the police authorities within a few days, and action was initiated to bring the culprits to justice. In the incident in Madhya Pradesh, which occurred in March, 2013, the accused were tried in a Fast Track Court and sentenced to life imprisonment in July, 2013, i.e. within four months. In another incident that took place in June 2013, in Himachal Pradesh, the culprits have been sentenced to 20 years jail terms on 17 December 2013.
2. India is a country of peace-loving and law-abiding citizens. It is a safe destination for domestic and international tourists. However, like any other civil society, there are aberrations, and a few persons break the law now and then. The instances of sexual molestation/ harassment of foreign tourists that have happened in recent weeks are such aberrations. Most of the 6.58 million foreign visitors, who came to India in 2012, with about 40% of them being lady tourists, did not report any major problems in India during their visits and the country continues to receive repeat visitors. It is reiterated that India remains a safe destination for international visitors including women tourists. However, international visitors need to exercise caution, just as local residents do, while travelling through or staying at isolated places, to guard against becoming victims of undesirable elements.