Goa is safe for tourists, says minister

December 24th, 2008 - 10:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Dec 24 (IANS) Goa is safe for tourists and there was no specific intelligence input about any possible terrorist strike, Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal said here Wednesday. “We are only increasing our security in view of the Mumbai terror strikes,” he told reporters after a security review meeting with the chief minister, the chief secretary and the top police brass.

However, Jaiswal’s statement contradicts a ’secret’ cabinet note, which said specific intelligence inputs had been received that Al Qaeda or one of its allied outfits was planning a terror strike in Goa.

The cabinet note, which had created panic here, was circulated within the council of ministers in November and was signed by Chief Secretary J.P. Singh.

Asked about a sense of panic among tourists on seeing bunkers on beaches, Jaiswal said: “There is no need to panic. It is only a precautionary measure. We have to remain alert. We are satisfied with security measures adopted in Goa.”

Jaiswal also asked the police and citizens to remain alert and appealed to tourists the world over to come to Goa in huge numbers to celebrate the New Year.

“Goa is completely safe,” he emphasised.

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