Home South Asia India Rape capital of the world: US issues warning to tourists visiting India

Rape capital of the world: US issues warning to tourists visiting India

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News Analysis |

India continues to face international pressure. In the latest development, the United States of America (USA) State Department has updated a travel advisory for its citizen traveling to India.

The exercise increased caution in India due to crime and terrorism. The travel advisory has warned the US citizens that some areas have increased threat. “Do not travel to the state of Jammu and Kashmir (except the eastern Ladakh region and its capital, Leh) due to terrorism and civil unrest. Within 10 km of the India-Pakistan border due to the potential for armed conflict,” it stated.

As a matter of face, Indian Armed Forces are reportedly involved in mass-rape cases in Kashmir. There have been various cases where Indian soldiers not only raped Kashmiri women but also killed them.

The State Department also noted that rape is one of the fastest growing crimes in India. Violent crime, such as sexual assault, has occurred at tourist sites and in other locations, it said.

Moreover, the travel advisory also cautioned US citizens that “terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and government facilities,” it continued.  “If you decide to travel to India… Do not travel alone, particularly if you are a woman,” the statement read linking to a guide for women travelers.

Read more: Crimes on women: Third girl burned and raped in India

It is important to mention here that about 100 sexual assaults are reported to police in India every day, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. There were nearly 39,000 alleged attacks in 2016 — an increase of 12% over the previous year.

Last year a British tourist was kidnapped and raped in the western Indian state of Goa. According to details, the victim was walking back to her hotel in the popular tourist destination when the incident took place.

In 2017, one more British tourist was raped and choked to death in the western Indian state of Goa. In 2008, British teenager Scarlett Keeling was raped and murdered in Goa. Ironically, two men charged with committing the crime were acquitted in 2016.

Due to the high rate of rape in India, the country is often termed as ‘rape capital of the world’. Analysts argue that the governments in India have never been much serious to counter the challenge.

Several cases of rape, gang rape, and violence against women and tourists are reported in India. But Indian civil society and intellectuals argue that such trends are increasing as India is becoming more and more intolerant and exclusive. Rape is being used as a weapon by the powerful segment of the society to target the vulnerable.

As a matter of face, Indian Armed Forces are reportedly involved in mass-rape cases in Kashmir. There have been various cases where Indian soldiers not only raped Kashmiri women but also killed them. According to a report by the Human Rights Watch, the use of rape as a weapon of war by Indian forces started in the early 1990s as soon as the government adopted a heavy counterinsurgency approach to crushing the popular armed rebellion against Indian rule in the region.

Read more: India arrests 18 men in minor girl’s horrific rape case

Due to the high rate of rape in India, the country is often termed as ‘rape capital of the world’. Analysts argue that the governments in India have never been much serious to counter the challenge. “There is sheer lack of political will to do anything substantive about female safety,” said Ranjana Kumari, director of the Delhi-based Centre for Social Research. “So many promises were made but women have been let down,” she added.


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