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December 8, 2019

UK, US issue travel advisory for women visiting India

National

December 8, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The horrific gang-rape cases of a 26-year-old veterinary doctor from Hyderabad and a young UP woman from Unnao recently shocked the country and led to nationwide outrage.

This growing number of crimes against women in India has resulted in countries like UK to issue a safety advisory for its women who are travelling to the country. Recently, the UK government took to their website to publish a safety advice to be followed by travellers, especially women, in India, reported foreign media.

In the advisory titled 'India Travel Advice', the government mentioned in the safety and security sub-head that women travellers "should exercise caution when travelling in India even if travelling in a group."

The advisory suggests that women travellers in India are unsafe and at risk of getting assaulted, hence British women should exercise caution when in the country. It also asked women to respect the local dress codes and customs, to avoid isolated areas when alone at any time of day, to avoid travelling alone in a public transport and to not leave drinks unattended.

A part of advisory also cited instances where foreign nationals were sexually assaulted. It said, "British women have been the victims of sexual assault in Goa, Delhi and Rajasthan and women travellers often receive unwanted attention in the form of verbal and physical harassment by individuals or groups of men.

Serious sexual attacks involving foreign nationals have been reported. In April 2018, a Latvian woman was sexually assaulted and strangled in Thiruvallam, Kerala. More recently, in December 2018 a British woman was raped in Goa."

This is not the first time though that a country has issued a notice for its women travellers who plan to come to India. US also published an India Travel Advisory in March this year.

It said that Indian authorities report rape as

one of the fastest growing crimes in India and asked to exercise increased caution. "Violent crime, such as sexual assault, has occurred at tourist sites and in other locations," the advisory read.

The US advisory also asked women to avoid travelling alone and to remain alert of their surroundings when in India.