No ban on beach parties: Goa chief minister

December 19th, 2008 - 6:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Dec 19 (IANS) Hours after the Goa administration issued orders late Thursday evening banning parties and crowded events on beaches and in open areas, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat ordered lifting of the controversial ban Friday.The ban was lifted a couple of hours after the administration had already issued formal orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code banning public gatherings in open areas. The orders issued by the North and South Goa district collectors were later withdrawn immediately, following directions from the chief minister’s office.

Tourism industry sources said the ban was revoked after tourism industry stakeholders lobbied aggressively with the chief minister to lift the ban, in the light of an already marred tourist season.

Chief Minister Kamat, who was addressing a Goa Liberation Day rally here, told reporters that while the state will not ban beach parties, it would follow any diktat on security issues from the central government.

“As of now there is no ban, but yes we are waiting for directives from the central government,” Kamat said.

Thursday’s decision to impose the controversial ban, which was implemented on the recommendation of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), was relayed to the media by Home Minister Ravi Naik following a CLP meeting.

Naik said the ban was enforced from Dec 23 to Jan 5 due to security reasons.

The chief minister admitted that a potential terror strike in Goa during the tourist season was a worry, but also claimed that the state was taking every step to ensure that the worst was thwarted.

“Goa is worried about a possible terror attack as it is famous everywhere as a wonderful tourist destination. But we are well prepared and are undertaking every possible measure to ensure that the festive season passes peacefully,” Kamat said.

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