Russian tourist in Goa forced to change ‘Om’ t-shirt

April 3rd, 2009 - 11:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, April 3 (IANS) Amidst reports of the notorious Sri Rama Sene (SRS) entering Goa, a local right-wing outfit late Friday forced a Russian tourist to change her T-shirt bearing an “Om” symbol, after taking her to the local police station. Police officials said some of the activists were drunk.
The incident occurred at the weekly Friday market at Mapusa, around 13 km from here. The middle-aged Russian woman was shopping in the market when she was accosted by police personnel, who were egged on by the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) activists.

HJS co-convenor Abhijeet Nadkarni told IANS that the “exercise” was a part of organistion’s “joda maro” (hit shoes) campaign carried out to protest the increasing use of Hindu scriptures and vulgar depiction of Hindu deities on clothes and beachwear.

“We did not use force. We took her to the police station in company of two constables and the Russian woman was asked to change her top at the police station,” Nadkarni said, adding the exercise was a combined effort by the Divya Jagruti Trust, HJS and the Marathi Rajya Bhasha Pratisthan Samiti.

Mapusa station house officer Mohan Naik told IANS that some of the right-wing activists were under the influence of alcohol. However, he said the police asked the tourist to change her clothes “because of the objections raised by members of the public”.

Police inspector in-charge Manjunath Dessai said that no complaint was received from either parties. “Without a complaint we cannot proceed. The dispute was settled amicably,” he said.

The HJS has in the past complained to the district administration about stalls and outlets along the coast selling clothes, especially beachwear, depicting Hindu deities and scriptures in bad light.

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