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May 29, 2017

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No word on Taiwanese tourists turned down by India site: MOFA

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday said it did not receive a call for help from a Taiwanese tour group that was reportedly denied entry into a national park in India last month.

According to a report released by an Indian newspaper on Jan. 13, a team of 13 tourists from Taiwan was allegedly humiliated and denied entry into the Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha's Kendrapada district because of their nationality.

The incident happened on Dec. 21, 2013, and was revealed after Bhubaneswar-based tour operator Saroj Kumar Samal filed a complaint to Rajnagar divisional forest officer K K Swain on Jan. 6, according to an English-language Times of India report.

The tour operator was responsible for arranging the Taiwanese tour group's itinerary in India.

The forest department, however, refuted any such restriction on Taiwanese nationals entering the national park, the report said. The Indian authorities have already launched a probe to verify the charges, it added.

Asked to comment, MOFA spokeswoman Anna Kao (高安) said yesterday in Taipei that Taiwan's office in India has not received any complaint from any Taiwanese tour group regarding the reported denial of entry into the national park in question.

Taipei's office in New Delhi has established contact with the Bhubaneswar-based tour operator but the latter refused to disclose the identities of members of the Taiwanese tour group, Kao said.

The ministry will continue to keep in close touch with Indian authorities to clarify if the incident did take place, she added.






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