Goa minister blames foreigners for giving state a bad name

May 28th, 2009 - 5:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, May 28 (IANS) Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik Thursday said foreign tourists, with their habit of partying and getting drunk till late hours and filing false theft complaints to claim insurance in their own country, is tarnishing the state’s reputation as a premier tourist destination.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function organised by the state police, Naik also questioned the merits of a night-life oriented tourism, which Goa is immensely popular for.

“We will have to see what is the benefit of such tourism. We have to stop tourists from drinking and travelling late in the night. The media blames the police if anything happens to them. How can the police follow and protect them (tourists) when they are drunk at such late hours,” Naik asked.

“When these foreign tourists come here, they should be following our rules,” he said.

Earlier this month, a 19-year-old Russian girl Elena Sukhonova was found dead on the railway tracks.

She was last seen dining with her fellow Russian friends at Baga beach at 3 a.m., before her mutilated body was found a few hours later along the railway tracks nearly 20 km from the beach.

Naik further accused foreign tourists of repeatedly filing false complaints in Goa and giving the state a bad reputation.

“They (foreign tourists) sell their used personal foreign-made belongings and then file a complaint that they have been robbed. They do all this only to claim insurance in their parent countries. They are giving Goa a bad name,” Naik said.

Last year, 15-year-old British teenager Scarlett Keeling was found dead on Anjuna Beach.

Naik and his son Roy were accused by Scarlett’s mother Fiona Mackeown of being hand-in-glove with the powerful narcotics lobby active in Goa.

Fiona claimed that the drug mafia was hell-bent on covering-up her daughter’s murder. Naik and the Goa police have categorically refuted these charges.

Goa sees an average annual traffic of two million tourists each year of which nearly 200,000 are foreigners.

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