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Ex-armymen to guard tourists on Goa beaches

Source: PTI
February 02, 2010 15:38 IST
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After spate of crime against foreigners, Goa will now have ex-servicemen manning its beaches frequented by the visitors round the clock.

State Tourism Minister Fransisco Pacheco said the state government has accorded administrative approval to tourist protection force, which will comprise of ex-servicemen.

"To begin with, the force will have sixty personnel who will work like a tourist warden on the beaches," he said.

Goa has received bad press after a spate of crimes against foreigners including the recent rape of a nine-year-old Russian girl on the Arambol beach in the coastal state.

Pacheco said the force would be under control of tourism ministry although they would not have policing powers.

"They are part of the government set up so whenever required they can coordinate with police, if require. They don't need policing powers," the minister said.

Goa has already posted lifeguards on its beaches who have been employed through a private firm for the rescue of tourists.

The lifeguards had recently complained of assault by tourists, who ignore the warning not to swim in the shallow waters.

Pacheco said that being from defence background, the tourist protection force personnel would be able to handle the situation tactfully and efficiently.

The National Women's Commission on Monday had asked the states to form special force to protect tourists.

"Railways has a big network in the country. They have separate forces for security. The tourism network is bigger than the railway network. The states should provide separate forces for security of tourists," NCW Chairman Girija Vyas had said in Delhi.
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