Panaji: Goa’s Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza has accused migrants of committing majority of the crimes in the tourist state, citing it as one of the major issues which is “troubling the government”.
D’Souza was speaking at a function organised by the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa held near Panaji on Saturday night.
“Migration into Goa does makes it a little difficult to handle the issue. See the crime statistics. Most of the crime is committed by migrants. So how do we take care of it, handle the situation? It is one of the issues which is troubling the government,” D’Souza said.
D’Souza’s migrant-bashing comes a few days after Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar triggered controversy by saying that Goans were annoyed with Nigerians, blaming them for their lifestyle and attitude.
The statements by Parsekar and Parulekar created a controversy in the national media and the opposition blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in Goa of being biased towards Africans.
“You have to be very sensitive towards tourism. Sensitive because the whole world is focused towards Goa. The smallest thing that happens in Goa is big news, international news. You can’t stop it. But we will have to take care that the news doesn’t happen,” D’Souza said.
D’Souza also said that efforts need to be made to ensure that tourists feel safe in Goa, whether in the day or at night.
“So we have to work in (the) direction of safety of the tourist, comfort of the tourist. The ease of movement day and night They like to move around. Tourists actually sleep the whole day and move the whole night. It happens that way,” he said.
Goa one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country attracts nearly four million tourists every year, half a million of which are foreign nationals.