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Last Updated:  Friday, 14 March, 2003, 12:57 GMT
Rajasthan fights tourist kidnaps
By Narayan Bareth
BBC correspondent in Jaipur

A campaign to keep foreign tourists safe from abduction is to be launched in the Indian state of Rajasthan.

The move follows the recent kidnapping of a Danish man, Thomas Jenson.

Police rescued Mr Jenson on Wednesday from a gang of criminals after he was held captive for over five days.

Around 500,000 foreign tourists visit Rajasthan each year.

Warning

The director of tourism in Rajasthan, Rajiv Sawroop told the BBC his department has formulated an awareness campaign to reduce the possibility of such incidents.

"We would warn the tourists adequately otherwise such incidents can affect the tourism industry in the state," Mr Sawroop said.

He said notices would be but up in hotels and important tourist destinations across the state.

The police rescued Mr Jenson after a car chase on a highway in Rajasthan.

Nine men were arrested in connection with the abduction.

Demands

A senior police officer, Rohit Mahajan, said the police hope to arrest more people in relation to the case.

Jaipur
Jaipur is popular with tourists
The gang was demanding $15,000 for his release.

According to police, the group lured Mr Jenson by offering to help him shop and then transport home some precious stones and jewellery.

Mr Jenson's family had contacted some friends in Delhi about the abduction saying he was making frantic calls requesting money.

Tourists are often lured by criminals who offer to export jewellery at much cheaper rates than mainstream organisations.

The state government already introduced a special tourist police force to help provide safety to visitors.

Police also asked Mr Jenson if he still needed additional security and requested that he continue with his holiday in Rajasthan.


SEE ALSO:
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Drought drives Rajasthan job hunt
02 Aug 02 |  South Asia


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