BEIJING: Incidents of lynching have hurt India’s image, Tourism Minister K.J. Alphons, who is in China to draw in more tourists, has admitted.

The minister, however, said that the ban on beef has not affected tourism in the country and sought to debunk a survey showing India as the most unsafe country for women in the world, reports IANS.

“Well, it (lynching) shouldn’t happen. Simple. And, the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi)  has called them criminals. And, he told the states you have to take action because law and order is a state subject,” Alphons said on Tuesday interacting with Indian journalsits.

Asked if incidents of lynching have affected tourism in India, the Minister said: “Well, not on a big time basis…not really. But anything happening like that is bad for the reputation of the country. We won’t say it’s good for the reputation of the country.”

Has the ban on beef kept foreign tourists away from India, Alphons said that was not the case. “Not really… you see there are states like Kerala, Goa and the Northeast… these are all beef eating states.”

“These are all big tourism destinations… So people would go wherever they are comfortable…I think we need to respect the sentiment of the people anywhere… that’s so fundamental.”

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