Media obsessed with white skin: Goa minister

December 12th, 2009 - 12:29 am ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Dec 11 (IANS) Even as state Tourism Minister Micky Pacheco has expressed fear that increasing number of rapes and assaults on tourists would soon make Goa the rape capital of India, another cabinet minister, Churchill Alemao, has blamed foreigners for roaming in Goa at unearthly hours.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function, Public Works Department Minister Churchill Alemao blamed the media for taking up the cause of the “white-skinned tourists”.

“When Scarlett died in Goa, what was she doing in a shack at 4 a.m.? I have five daughters who return home at 11 p.m… max by midnight,” Alemao said.

Alemao said that the media was ignoring several other rape cases in Goa because of its obsession with white skin.

“I am very upset that the media highlights the foreigners’ cases. Even a small case is hyped. There are so many rape cases happening in Goa which do not get highlighted,” Alemao, a former chief minister of Goa, said.

“Indians become rape victims in the Gulf, men get killed in America and other places, but the media only highlights incidents against foreigners in Goa,” said Alemao, who has publicly backed John Fernandes, main accused in the Dec 1 rape of a 25-year-old Russian tourist.

Earlier in the day in a letter to Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, Pacheco said that Goa may soon “gain reputation as the rape capital of India”.

Pacheco, in his letter dated Dec 10, also said that “an impression is gaining ground that the police in Goa are either grossly incompetent or are 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.”

The tourism minister’s letter comes against the backdrop of the Russian woman’s rape, allegedly by Fernandes, a local politician.

The Russian said that the police initially pressurized her against filing the rape complaint. Ever since the complaint was filed, the police have not summoned the accused even once for questioning, nor have they arrested him.

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