The holy city was put to shame on Friday evening. A woman from Denmark was molested outside its railway station but police don't seem embarrassed.
Each day, thousands of visitors come looking for culture and religion and go back meeting snatchers, eve-teasers and molesters. The attacks have become repeated, and a city that the state government has promised to turn into a heaven for tourists cannot even guarantee them basic safety. So far, no surveillance cameras installed, little night patrol, and the hyped "Tourism Police" also seems going nowhere.
Reading the complaint of the Danish national, one would be shocked to imagine the molester's brutality in an open public place. Police may have caught the accused but if foreign tourists are to be believed, they feel "very unsafe in the city" where they get little help from law.
Before they even discover Amritsar, tourists are lost. On arriving, they find no proper city guides, prepaid taxi service at the railway station, and Tourism Police in a city where snatching is a regular crime and passengers coming in at night are easy target. Even during day, when visitors coming back from the Retreat ceremony at the Pakistan border hardly see a policeman around.
In 2011, two Chinese nationals were kidnapped from the railway station, where the Danish woman was molested on Friday. On Monday, HT spoke with foreign and domestic tourists and they all wanted a safer environment in the city.
"We went to the spot quickly when the (Danish) tourist came to us with complaint," said inspector Sanjeev Kumar, station house officer of Civil Lines. "We caught the molester and the victim identified him. Night policing is on in our area and we keep a regular check on anti-social elements," he added.
The woman had come to Amritsar on Friday night and left the city a day after with horrible experience.