Modi urged to take Goa’s security concerns seriously
Panaji, July 18 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not go by the state’s small size and its paltry population when it comes to taking care of its security concerns.
During the inter-state council meeting in the national capital last week, Parsekar shared Goa’s security concerns with the central government, requesting it to view them seriously, especially because the country’s smallest state annually hosts a tourist population which is often four times its resident population.
“We had discussions related to intelligence which cannot be spoken about in public. We are a tourist place and, therefore, the central government should look at the state in more serious light. Our population is around 15 lakh and tourists who arrive in Goa are four times that number,” Parsekar told reporters on Monday, when asked about his interaction with Modi last week.
The chief minister also underlined the need to keep a watchful eye on the hordes of tourists, several of whom, Parsekar said, visit the state only for a day or two.
“Over the last two years, tourist arrivals have increased by 30 per cent,” Parsekar said.
Goa is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country and attracts over four lakh tourists every year.
However, in the recent past, intelligence reports have suggested that the state has been used as a soft destination with several terror suspects, including Yasin Bhatkal and David Headley, using Goa as a place for lying low and conducting recce operations.