Kin of murdered foreign tourists in Goa write to PM

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Panaji, May 30 (IANS) Kin of foreign tourists who were killed in Goa have written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing the local police of covering up the murders and have demanded a probe monitored by a Supreme Court judge.

The letter also alleges that Goa Police personnel protect local criminals for monetary considerations and the same local anti-social elements are involved in the rapes and murders of foreign nationals.

“We fervently request a Commission led by a Supreme Court judge to analyse the investigations of the deaths of Caitanya Holt, Felix Dahl, James Durkin, Kyle Arndt, Scarlett Keeling, Denyse Sweeney, Stephen Bennett, Martin Neighbour, Michael Harvey and Jonathan Burbank to ensure a proper, unbiased and comprehensive investigation to reveal the truth about their deaths,” the letter states.

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“The quality of the work of the police in Goa should be investigated. Instead of investigating the murders and killings, the local police want to cover up the truth.”

The correspondence has been initiated by the kin of the above mentioned deceased namely Parvati Dasi, mother of Caitanya Holt who was killed by a mob near Morjim beach; Minna Pirhonen, mother of Felix Dahl, whose murder case was registered after a delay of nearly two years; Fiona MacKeown, mother of Scarlett Keeling who was found dead and sexually assaulted at Anjuna beach; and Amanda Bennett, sister of Stephen Bennett who was found dead in Maharashtra.

The authors of the letter have also said that the increasing number of crimes against foreign nationals in recent times had made Goa “second most dangerous tourist destination in the whole world”.

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“Since the killing of our relatives, the deaths have continued with at least one tourist in average dying each week in Goa and also many locals have lost their lives… In many of these killings, whether tourists or locals, the same criminals appear to be involved,” the letter states.

“Unbiased independent investigation is needed to reveal the connections between the locals, police in Goa, drug mafia and politicians and their involvement in the deaths,” the letter also states.

The authors said they will collaborate with the media and tourist organisations globally to “educate holiday makers on the present dangers in Goa”.

Mackeown had already written to Prime Minister Modi in September last year seeking justice for her 15-year-old daughter Scarlett, even as those accused of allegedly sexually assaulting her daughter and leaving her to die were acquitted by a trial court.

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