The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Police force for Digha tourists mooted

Digha, Jan. 23: East Midnapore police have sent a proposal for setting up a separate police force for this beach resort to the home department to control crime and provide assistance to tourists.

Once the separate force is raised with financial assistance from the tourism department, not only will law and order in the town be better looked after, but tourists will have instant information on hotel vacancies, rates and the facilities on offer.

“The moment a tourist checks in, the information, including his room number, will be relayed to the special police. It will enable us to inform a person if someone from his hometown wants to get in touch,” said district police superintendent Anuj Sharma.

The proposal suggests keeping records of tour operators who organise package tours to destinations like Talsari, Udaypur, Chandaneswar and Shankarpur. The tourist police will look into complaints against hotels and provide emergency medical aid.

The new force, to wear a uniform different from the regular law-enforcers, will also be a deterrent for unscrupulous businessmen who fleece tourists, Sharma said. Police booths will be set up at regular intervals along the beach road from Old Digha to Talsari on the Orissa border. The force will be equipped with a van and two-wheelers.

“The sole police station at Old Digha has to bear the burden of looking after the needs of tourists and catering to the law and order problems of two panchayat areas. That is why we felt the need for an exclusive force for the problems that crop up at a tourist destination,” Sharma said.

There has been a spurt in crime in the town, culminating in the gangrape of two women last August which had a major impact on tourist psyche.

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