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March 1, 2010

Kerala opens police station for foreign tourists as harassment cases mount

     Kochi (Kerala): Apparently in an attempt to ensure the safety of much harassed foreign tourists who visit Kerala and get trapped in the notorious massage parlours run in the name of ayurveda, a novel foreign tourist police station has been opened in Kochi. The government claims its cops are determined to protect the tourists from foreign countries, and turn the state more tourist-friendly. Home and Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Saturday officially inaugurated the tourist police station and a police museum at Mattanchery near Kochi, which is said to be the first of its kind in the country. Mattanchery, which is known world over for the Jewish synagogue and holds an important place in the map, receives tourists in large numbers. The special station will have all facilities to assist foreign travellers, to clear their doubts on passport and visa, guidelines to lodge complaints about lost passports and to renew expired visas. The police would tie up with Department of Tourism to set up a help desk at the station, where route maps and brochures about different tourist destinations in the State would be available. Also, the station will have facilities for tourists to make booking for boating as well as hiring taxis. A tourism carnival in which there were 80 floats, including folk dancers performing and police uniforms were also taken out on the occasion. Another highlight is the police museum that would display police uniforms and armoury used in the force, right from the colonial period to the present. State owned Tourism Department would initiate to publish all the details of tourism police and its services in all leading tourism journals in the world.
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