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BJP flays govt on crimes against tourists
February 27, 2010

BJP flays govt on crimes against tourists


27 February 2010


First it was the state Tourism Minister, then the industry bodies, and now it is the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), that is criticising the government for not bringing under control crimes against tourists. The BJP further warned that this could affect the state’s top industry-tourism.

The Poinguinim MLA, Mr Ramesh Tawadkar, the BJP South district boss, on Friday hit out at the government and accused it of having failed on all fronts, including controlling the crime rate. He charged that due to the increase in the incidents of rapes and molestations, tourism would be affected.

Recently, the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry or GCCI had cautioned the government saying that tourism in the state of late was getting a bad name due to the perception that it was a drug and sex destination.
GCCI president, Mr Cesar Menezes in the pre-budget note, had, among other things pointed out that “Problems of law and order and garbage will spell doom for state tourism,” while complaining that the states top industry was in shambles.

Earlier, Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) chief, Mr Ralph de Souza too had pointed out that the bogey of the Russian mafia could mean curtains for tourism in the near future.  Even the Tourism Minister, Mr Francisco Pacheco had said that Goa was on its way to becoming “the rape capital of India.”

Crimes against tourists in recent times began to get widespread publicity, after the rape and murder of British teen Scarlett Keeling, exposed the sordid underbelly of tourism in the state.

And the recent rape of a nine-year-old Russian girl and before that of a 25-year-old Russian woman allegedly raped by a Goan politician, kept the pressure on, especially as the states politicians have sometimes been quite insensitive to the situation.  The mysterious death of Russian teenager Elena Sukhonova, whose mangled body was found on the railway tracks near Tivim, is also still unsolved.

Mr Tawadkar  also criticised the price rise in the state.