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Thursday, October 19, 2006

How To Fight Crime With Pink Paint

Authorities in eastern India are painting a crime-infested town pink in the hope that an image makeover will lift the sagging morale of residents who are fed up with the decline in law and order, officials said on Monday.

The ancient town of Aurangabad in Bihar -- one of India's most backward and poorest states -- is a hotbed of crime ranging from killing, extortion, kidnapping and inter-caste wars.

Officials say the idea of painting the city pink originated from the dominant Rajput community, who migrated from the western state of Rajasthan where the capital, Jaipur is known as the pink city of India.

"Only a few buildings (in Jaipur) bear the pink color. Aurangabad will actually be the country's real pink city," said Arvind Kumar Singh, a senior government official overseeing the work who is also a Rajput.

With the city's two million residents complaining about poor quality of life and depression due to crime, officials said they had decided to paint the city pink ahead of the Hindu festival of light, Diwali, on October 21.

Local residents said they welcomed the new lick of paint to the town. "The town does not seem to carry any of its past look and we feel happy about it," said Santosh Kumar, a local businessman.

Copyright © 2006 Reuters Limited.

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