00:04 GMT +321 August 2019
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    Tourists on the territory of the Taj Mahal palace in the city of Agra

    India to Toughen Law to Safeguard Foreign Tourists

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    According to the latest data available from India's National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 382 foreigners were victims of crime in India in 2016. These included 30 foreign women on vacation who were assaulted, twice as many as in 2015.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — In view of the increasing incidences of manhandling, molestation and even the physical abuse of tourists by touts and other criminals, India is planning to soon toughen its criminal laws, enforcing stricter punishment for the harassment of foreigners. The law would come into force from April 1, 2018, according to the Ministry of Culture.

    READ MORE: Delhi Retains Moniker of Most Unsafe Indian City for Foreigners

    "We are exploring how we can bring the culture of touts to an end by bringing them under the ambit of serious offenses and organized crime so that they can be booked accordingly," Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma told the media. Touts are promoters who solicit local business establishments, who often approach tourists aggressively.

    Sharma said that his Ministry was working with the Home Ministry to bring harassment of tourists by touts and others under the purview of organized crime.

    "First we will warn them, then we will identify them and then we will punish them," Mahesh Sharma added.


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