Who does not love Goa?
It is undoubtedly one of the best holiday destinations in the world.
Recently, Harminder Singh Mintoo, the Khalistan Liberation Chief, who had escaped from jail, only to be re-arrested a day later told the police that he was headed to Goa.
Not just Mintoo there have been scores of other terrorists and criminals who have made their way into Goa as they consider it to be a safe hub.
It is a well-known fact that the drug mafia in Goa is exceptionally strong and this is an added advantage for those seeking shelter.
Over the past few years, there have been several incidents where criminals and terrorists have rushed to Goa.
While some have sought shelter others have landed there to carry out terror attacks since Goa has a large number of foreign tourists.
Mintoo has a strong connection to Goa.
He had lived there 18 years. He has some family members there as well.
However, his plan to visit to Goa after his escape was not to revive family ties.
He was attempting to contact a person with whose help he wanted a visa and passport done so that he could flee the country.
The sun and sand of Goa has not attracted just Mintoo.
There was David Headley, the 26/11 reconnaissance in charge who spent time in Goa.
Syed Ismail Afaque who was arrested by the Bengaluru police too had stayed in Goa.
The police said that he had taken paragliding lessons at the Keri-Pernem plateau. It was claimed that he had planned an air strike.
Yasin Bhatkal, the chief of the Indian Mujahideen too said during his interrogation that he had stayed in Goa for sometime.
Similar revelations were made by Tariq Ahmed Batlo who was arrested on terror charges.
A naxal leader Shambu Beck too said that he had visited Goa.
Gopal a former aide of Dawood Ibrahim too had visited Goa.
He however is the only one who was arrested while others managed to give the slip.
Intelligence Bureau officials say that many criminals come into Goa and stay undetected.
There are a variety of factors behind this. It is a major tourist destination and the inflow/outflow of the tourists is very high.
This acts as an advantage to these criminals/terrorists.
Further there is the drug mafia which adds to the problem and these elements tend to take their support to find a safe hiding spot, the officer also says.