Panaji, Sep 22 : Traffic policemen in Goa are habitually harassing tourists who rent two wheelers and cars for local sightseeing, Goa's Ports Minister Michael Lobo complained to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday.
Lobo said that tourists, who have slowly started trickling into Goa after the easing of most Covid-related restrictions, are godsend to the state whose economy thrives on tourism and harassing them was just not done.
"I have urged the Chief Minister to direct the police to not harass tourists. Tourists who come to Goa today are godsend. Our hotels, guest houses, rent-a-bike, rent-a-car, businesses, restaurants, super markets, wine stores are all running because of them. In no country are tourists harassed, but it has become a common practice in Goa. It has to be stomped out," Lobo said.
The Ports Minister, who is a legislator from the Calangute constituency which is home to popular beaches like Calangute, Baga, Candolim, etc, also said that tourists were being harassed at every corner in Calangute and Anjuna coastal areas.
"I have seen instances where one tourist who was driving around has been stopped on five occasions during a short ride from Calangute to Anjuna. Such police officials should be suspended," Lobo also said.
Lobo said that after he took the grievance to Sawant, the Chief Minister directed the police to stop harassment of tourists in coastal areas.
The Ports Minister also said that despite wearing helmets and driving within permissible speeds, tourists are being stopped and harassed by cops.