Goa to raise special tourist
The Goa tourism department
is in the process of raising a special tourist security force in the wake
of crimes against tourists in the state especially foreign women tourists.
Speaking to reporters
in Panaji on Tuesday, state tourism minister Mickky Pacheco said the force
would comprise ex-servicemen specially recruited to safeguard the lakhs
of tourists who visit Goa annually.
"The special force will
be guarding the beaches, something which is presently done by the state
police," Pacheco said, adding that the special security force proposal
had already been approved by the finance department of the state government.
"We are looking at posting
the first batch of sixty-odd special security guards along the popular
beaches in Goa soon," Pacheco said, adding that the special force personnel
would serve as wardens, instead of policemen.
"They are part of the
government set up. Whenever required, they can coordinate with the police.
They don't need policing powers," Pacheco told reporters.
||The rape of a nine-year-old
Russian girl on Jan 26 triggered a nationwide media debate on the safety
of women tourists in Goa. The union tourism ministry had shot off a letter
to the state government seeking details on the issue of safety of tourists
in the state.
The Russian embassy had
also warned of issuing a tourist advisory against Goa, if the state authorities
did not spruce up their act.
Earlier, a 25-year-old
Russian woman was allegedly raped by a Goan politician in December last
Police have also been
unable to crack the mysterious death of Russian teenager Elena Sukhonova,
whose mangled body was found on the railway tracks near Thivim, 25 km from
Goa receives nearly two
million tourists annually, nearly half a million of which are foreigners.