Harassment of visitors on Palace premises

Harassment of visitors on Palace premises

Harassment of visitors on Palace premises

Tourists on the outer premises of the Amba Vilas Palace, the must see place in the city, which attracts lakhs of visitors from India and abroad, are harassed and groped.

Illegal vendors, who sell their ware on the narrow path from the parking lot to the Palace entrance (Varaha gate) are seen misbehaving with tourists.

Tourists complain that even the police personnel deputed there turn a blind-eye to such misbehaviour.

As per the authorities, only the police welfare canteen set up at the parking lot is legal. The remaining shops are, with the store owners encroaching the pavement.

More than 40 shops, selling toys, clothes, eatables and other materials have come up with the connivance of local political leaders, claim authorities.

The entire stretch becomes congested when there is heavy flow of visitors, during weekends and holidays, making it difficult for people to move around.

Vendors and miscreants molest and grope girls, when the crowd swells. Even foreign tourists have experienced harassment, revealed a policeman.

“We are not able to bring the situation under control. Shop vendors operate under the influence of political leaders,” added the policeman, expressing his inability to tackle the menace.

The tourists don’t register complaints as they have tight schedules and the miscreants know about it, say police officials.

Mysore Palace Board Deputy Director T S Subramanya said, despite several complaints from visitors, no action has been initiated.

“The Palace Board is helpless. Only the Police department and the District Adminstration can act on this issue,” he added.

According to sources, Deputy Commissioner C Shikha and City Police Commissioner M A Saleem had visited the spot and walked on the narrow path to ascertain the situation.

The vendors also charge exorbitant rates for their goods and sell duplicate items.

A nun, who had come from Kerala, was cheated when she bought Mysore Sandal Soap.

The vendor gave her a pack of three duplicate soaps and charged Rs 130, while the original pack costs Rs 172.

Blame game

Vendors instead say that they pay ‘mamul’ (money) to police and others.

When Deccan Herald contacted Saleem, he said, since it was the Palace property, the Palace Board has to take action on clearing illegal shops.

“If required, police will provide security assistance to the Board to clear illegal shops,” he added.