Goa: A beach heaven of illegal drugs, unexplained deaths and skin trade

Body of Irish backpacker Danielle McLaughlin was found in a pool of blood, naked on March 14 in a field near a beach in southern Goa. She was raped and then murdered by one Vikas Bhagat, a local thief. He confessed to his crimes later in the day.

Why am I sharing this news? Because, even after trying to avoid it whole day, after reading a report in Dailymail, I couldn’t just keep ignoring. Because, it is not just a rape of a woman, which happens all around the world including India, but a rape of India’s image too.

Just to put in perspective, according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, between 2010 and 2014, 58 British nationals died in Goa in what are described as ‘unknown’ circumstances. How many of them were raped, is not known. The issue is how come so many foreign nationals die there.

Drug overdose can be one major reason of such ‘unknown circumstances’. Similarly, one can’t rule out robbery, rape and other instances leading to death.

Goa is one of the most attractive destinations for tourists in India for its relatively ‘free culture’ where you won’t be ogled at by males if you wear a bikini or mini skirt and roam around.

Apart from that, several illegal activities like sale and consumption of drugs ranging from ganja to LSD and meth, is pretty normal. It is illegal but it goes on. Why? Because the state government, for some weird reasons, finds it giving a boost to tourism! They don’t say it, but that’s how it is.

Goa is dream destination for multitude of college-going young men and women in India too. Reason is the same: drugs, booze and even girls. Yes. As far as my friends inform me, even skin trade flourishes there. And, believe it or not, foreigners are involved in the skin as well as drug trade.

It is appalling, among other things, that governments (even the BJP which is considered a conservative party) continues to allow this menace. Just to earn some bucks, how can you allow so many deaths?

The whole law and order situation needs a relook along with a rethinking about tourism. The basic assumption that drugs and ‘open culture’ would bring tourists is having an adverse affect. Why are you giving foreigners the same ‘foreign’ feeling when they come to experience India?

It is not about Danielle or Scarlet or Denyse who were all allegedly murdered in Goa. It is about what kind of tourist experience we are providing where we allow illegal activities that adversely affects the same tourists…..

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