Goa home minister criticises Russian diplomat’s comments (Lead)June 4th, 2009 - 7:51 pm ICT by IANS
Panaji, June 4 (IANS) Two days after a Russian diplomat asked the Goa government to change laws to stop late night drinking or travelling by tourists in the state, an angry Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik Thursday said Russian officials have no business telling him what laws have to be modified or brought in.
“Who is the Russian consul general to tell us what laws to change and follow. We are doing the best we can to keep Goa safe,” Naik told reporters here, after initially asking them to seek a response from the chief minister on the issue.
The Goa police was strictly implementing the laws of the land, he said.
The home minister last week had triggered a controversy after holding the “irresponsible” behaviour of foreigners for the crimes committed against them.
“We have to stop tourists from drinking and travelling late in the night. Then the media blames the police if anything happens to them. How can the police follow and protect them (tourists) when they are drunk during such late hours,” Naik had said, while addressing the Goa police top brass and the media, in an indirect reference to the mysterious death of 19-year-old Russian Elena Sukhonova who was found dead on the railway tracks, after she was last seen at the popular Baga beach at 3 a.m. on May 8.
In response to Naik’s statement, Alexander Mantytsky, Russian consul general in Mumbai had Tuesday asked the state government to change laws to ensure that tourists are not allowed to drink and travel late.
Several restaurants and bars in the coastal area obtain the heavily priced special excise licence, which enables them to serve liquor throughout 24 hours.
Mantytsky, who was in Goa to follow up on the mysterious death of Sukhonova, had also said that the state’s police were inefficient in their probes against the rising number of crimes against Russian citizens.
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Tags: chief minister, coastal area, consul general, elena, foreigners, goa government, goa police, home minister, indirect reference, late night, mumbai, mysterious death, probes, ravi naik, russian citizens, russian consul, russian diplomat, russian officials, state government, top brass