Goa may become rape capital of India, fears tourism minister

December 11th, 2009 - 5:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Dec 11 (IANS) Worried by the increasing number of rapes and assaults on tourists in Goa, especially foreigners, state Tourism Minister Mickky Pacheco has said that Goa may soon “gain reputation as the rape capital of India”.
In his letter to state Chief Minister Digambar Kamat Thursday, Pacheco has said that “an impression is gaining ground that the police in Goa is either grossly incompetent or is influenced by other factors as a result of which complaints are not properly investigated”.

“There is a fear that foreign embassies may issue an advisory to their nationals to avoid Goa as a holiday destination in view of the pathetic performance of the Goa police,” Pacheco stated.

The written note to Kamat comes against the backdrop of a 25-year-old Russian woman’s rape, allegedly by local politician John Fernandes. The Russian said that the police initially pressurized her against filing the rape complaint. Ever since the complaint was filed, the police have not even summoned the accused even once for questioning, nor have they arrested him.

Accentuating the charges made against the Goa police by the victim, the letter urges the chief minister to personally revamp the police force and to ensure that the “deplorable image of the police in the eyes of foreign tourists is not allowed to affect tourist arrivals”.

“There is a very strong feeling in local circles, including among lawyers, that the police machinery is directly involved in what is called match-fixing in criminal matters and particularly in bail matters,” the tourism minister said in his letter.

Pacheco stressed that the Russian rape case “has come at the beginning of the tourist season and may once again impact the arrival of tourists, which in any case are less than expected due to economic uncertainties in foreign countries”.

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