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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Travel advisory reflects "facts on ground": UK minister

PTI  Ahmedabad, March 21, 2013
First Published: 02:01 IST(21/3/2013) | Last Updated: 02:03 IST(21/3/2013)

Hugo Swire, UK Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office, today said the revision of travel advisory for British tourists visiting India reflected "fact on the ground".

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The revision followed the incident of British woman jumping out of a hotel room window in Agra, fearing sexual assault.

"The Foreign Office from time to time revises travel advisory for travellers. The recent one...we changed it to reflect the fact on the grounds on what happened in the last two three days," he said, talking to reporters here.

"But it may be noted that many people travel to India and they have fantastic time, very often nothing happens to them and they carry good memories when they go back home," he added.

"With regard to the British lady, we have been giving her a robust consular access and she will soon return home.

"This type of unfortunate incidents sometimes do happen in UK also. India has to deal with such incidents so that no misconception goes that it is unfriendly to tourists and nobody wants that to happen as it might affect tourism", Swire said.

The advisory issued yesterday by UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office asked women travellers to "exercise caution when travelling in India even if they are travelling in a group".

"Avoid travelling alone on public transport, or in taxis or auto-rickshaws, especially at night. If you have to use a taxi, get them from hotel taxi ranks and use pre-paid taxis at airports. Try to avoid hailing taxis on the street," the advisory said.

A 25-year-old British woman had to jump out of a hotel window in Agra, fearing sexual assault by the hotel owner, who was later arrested. On the issue of Italian Marines, Swire said that UK and the European Union wanted early resolution of the crisis.

"The allegations involve Italy and India. We at the UK and the EU would like that the crisis is resolved at the earliest," Swire said. He was talking to reporters after meeting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.


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