New Delhi, Mar 18: Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat today apprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the Scarlett Keeling rape and murder case and asserted that the state was the ''safest'' tourist destination. ''I appeal to all tourists that Goa is the safest place and Goans are nice people,'' Mr Kamat told reporters after a meeting with Dr Singh which was also attended by Goa MPs Shantaram Naik and Francisco Sardinha. Mr Kamat also met Union Tourism Minister Ambika Soni today besides Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
The Chief Minister is scheduled to meet Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil here tomorrow to discuss the situation in Goa. The rape and murder of the British teenager on Goa's popular Anjuna beach on February 18 gave rise to public outrage. The rape and murder of 15- year- old Scarlett prompted criticism of the police for failing to protect her and trying to pass off the murder as a case of drowning. Relentless efforts of the victim's mother Fiona Mackeown, who suspected foul play in the death, made police conduct a second autopsy and establish a case of rape and murder. The police then arrested two persons for drugging, raping and murdering the teenager. Parrying a question on whether the state government had asked the Centre not to extend Mackeown's visa, the Chief Minister said,''Our first priority is to handle the case''.
On the case of molestation of a German tourist on Saturday, he said the police have questioned 15 suspects detained on the basis of the description given by the victim. He said the tourist had wandered off to a secluded place at Cavelossim beach where she was molested by a stranger.