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Exercise Caution When In India : UK and US Travel Advisory For Women

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The growing number of rapes and sexual assaults against women have always drawn the country into limelight. May it be 2012 Delhi gangrape case, Kathua rape case, recent Hyderabad rape case or a day old Unnao case ,sent waves of rage, anger and concern across the nation.

Alarming situation of women safety in India is hardly concealed from the world and has resulted in countries like UK to issue a safety advisory for its women who are travelling to India.

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Recently, the UK government published a safety advice on their website, to be followed by travellers, especially women, in India.

In the advisory titled ‘India Travel Advice’, the government mentioned in the Safety and security sub-head that women travellers “should exercise caution when in India even if travelling in a group.”

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The advisory also mentions that women travellers in India are unsafe and at risk of getting assaulted and has asked them 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, to not leave drinks unattended and to be aware of their rights when they are visiting India.

Citing various examples of sexual assaults on foreign travellers, the advisory stated , “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.”

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US also published an India Travel Advisory in March this year stating that rape is 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.

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