Panaji, April 17: We all love Goa, be it foreign or local tourists. The state, irrespective of any season, always witnesses steady flow of tourists from across the globe. However, the tourism industry, the primary source of livelihood for scores of Goa residents, of late is facing a crisis.
The large numbers of deaths related to foreign tourists have rocked the coastal state's otherwise vibrant and lively culture. An estimated 245 foreigners have died in Goa in the last 12 years, according to a Right to Information reply accessed by a local activist in support of relatives of several of the deceased, reports Hindustan Times.
The state police department has classified most of the deaths under the category 'natural'. However, relatives of the deceased allege 'foul play' and have expressed their unhappiness in the way the investigations were conducted in these cases.
Every year, more than five lakh foreign tourists visit Goa. In recent times, relatives of deceased foreign nationals have been demanding re-investigation into the cases of their loved ones and better safety measures for foreign tourists in the state.
In around six cases, where police had initially declared them to be 'natural' deaths, however, after relatives' intervention these cases were found to be 'pre-meditated murders' and courts have issued investigations into these matters.
The memory of the infamous Scarlett Keeling case of 2008 is still fresh in the minds of many Goans. The rape and murder of Keeling was initially dubbed by the police as a case of drowning and drug overdose.
This year, a 28-year-old Irish woman Danielle McLaughlin was raped and murdered in Canacona in March. Unlike, Keeling's case, police were prompt to arrest an accused related to McLaughlin case.
Recently, the relatives of dead foreign nationals in Goa held a meeting to demand justice for their loves ones. The police stated that safety of foreign tourists was their prime responsibility.