Russian tourists not being targetted: Goa Police

June 3rd, 2009 - 11:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, June 3 (IANS) The Goa Police Wednesday said Russian tourists were not being targetted, shrugging off allegations made to this effect by Russian consul general Alexander Mantytsky in the wake of rising crimes against foreign tourists.

Superintendent of Police Atmaram Deshpande first blamed the rising crime graph on the excise department for allowing bars to remain open till late in the night. He also said that foreigners themselves should be careful while traveling.

“The excise department is earning additional revenue by allowing specially-licensed bars to stay open till late in the night. It is a government policy decision. The police cannot do anything about that. The government has given the bars permission to remain open late, how can we close them?” Deshpande told reporters here.

He then stressed that it was difficult for the police to “provide protection to everybody”.

“Tourists who come here should also take care when they travel,” the officer said.

Deshpande said it was incorrect to say that Russians were being targeted in Goa, as the number of Russians coming to Goa had also swelled.

“The percentage of Russian tourists coming to Goa is more,” Deshpande said.

He also dismissed Mantytsky’s allegations that the Goa Police were slack in investigating cases involving Russian citizens.

Mantytsky, who was in Goa to follow up on the mysterious death of 19-year-old Russian Elena Sukhonova, had Tuesday said that the Goa Police were inefficient in their probe into the rising number of crimes against Russian citizens.

Mantytsky had in fact drawn a parallel between the attacks on Russian tourists in Goa and the racial attacks on students of Indian origin in Australia.

“It is my job to defend the rights of Russian citizens in Goa,” the diplomat had said.

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