Goa minister’s flip flops on IS scare at EDM festivals

Panaji, Dec 18 (IANS) Two days after insisting that an Islamic State (IS) scare forced the state government to tighten security at a popular music festival in Goa, Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar on Friday denied any threat by the terror outfit.

Parulekar, in a statement issued here on Friday, said he was misquoted and that “Goa is an extremely safe destination and he is confident that tourists from all across the globe will throng the State to celebrate the forthcoming Christmas and New Year festivities”.

“While incidents of terror are occurring far and wide, Goa continues to be a safe tourist destination and Goa Tourism in tandem with all other agencies is working round-the-clock to provide a safe and secure environment for all visitors to the state,” Parulekar said.

Goa, one of the top beach and nightlife tourism destinations in India, hosts two of the biggest party events in the country namely Sunburn and Supersonic EDM festivals which are held in the last week of December, which coincides with the peak tourism season.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Parulekar said: “We want the best security in view of the IS threat. The single window permission committee headed by the chief secretary, which grants permission for such events, has decided to ask the organisers of the events to increase security.”

The organisers of the music festivals had been asked by the chief secretary to set up additional metal detectors as well as employ sniffer dogs to check for explosives, he said.

The state has also been on a terror alert ever since the revelation that terror suspect David Headley had conducted a recce in Goa some months before the 26/11 terror strike in Mumbai.

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