A new force of tourist police similar to the squad recently deployed in Calcutta began patrolling sites in Delhi Aug. 6. The force was created in part in response to the murder of an Australian tourist in March who was killed when she resisted a robbery by her taxi driver from the international airport. The tourist police’s main objective is to protect foreign tourists from harassment and cheating by taxi drivers, rickshaw drivers, and shopkeepers. They wear blue armbands and are being posted at the airport, the Qutub Minar World Heritage site, the Red Fort, the World War I memorial, India Gate and the cremation memorials of several Indian leaders.
To commemorate the Taj Mahal’s 350th birthday, the majestic site may be open to tourists at night for the first time in 20 years beginning Sept. 27. The plan calls for the site to be open for five nights each month surrounding the full moon through March 2005.