The newly appointed Tourism Minister in the BJP-led coalition government Mr. Babu Azgaonkar has decided to clean the Goa’s beaches and make it free from Lamanis (Gypsy) and Touts and based on that he has ordered to implement the ban on Lamanis and Touts moving on the Goan beaches, especially in the North Goa belts.
According to the sources, Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said that Lamanis, members of a nomadic tribe mostly hailing from Karnataka, should be banned from Goa because they besmirch the reputation of Goa and don’t fit in the coastal state’s culture. This new development may lead to hundreds of Lamanis lose their livelihood, said the sources.
It is the fact that Lamanis and Touts create menace on the Goan beaches by harassing the tourists but not all of them create the intimidation to the tourists. The Lamanis (Manly consists of Migrants from Rajasthan or Karnataka) are known for their colourful costumes are involved in the seasonal tourism trade, sell trinkets and handmade clothes along the coastline to the hundreds of thousands of tourists who frequent the coastal state.
According to the sources, Mr. Azgaonkar has directed the special tourism squad to take action against the Lamanis and Touts moving on the beaches if required by taking the help of local police. The minister also warned that he will not hesitate to take action against the tourism officials if they do not act swiftly on this notice.
The sources have said that the Minister had a meeting with the tourism officials and Police officers on a Wednesday to plan out to the cleaning of the beaches of Lamanis. “The Lamanis are creating a nuisance for the tourists especially they harass the foreigners is creating the bad name for the tourism industry of Goa,” said Mr. Azgaonkar adding that “Many of them are also involved in the drug trade and to take care of that we have the team in place. But in case the officials do not take strict action this menace I will make sure the suspension of such officer connected to that particular area.”
According to the sources, Mr. Azgaonkar said that the employees of the shacks will be given the identity cards to identify them from the Lamani vendors. “It has been observed that many a time when a police strike the Lamanis takes the shelters of these beach shacks in the disguise of their employees. Meanwhile, the Superintendent of Police Karthik Kashyap said that their department is not acting against any particular community as such. “We are not targeting any community as such. Anybody who is involved into any kind of illegal activities or illegitimate activities we will take the action against them,” he said.
The Tourism Minister while speaking with IANS said that he is not to any particular community but the illegal activities carried out by them. The drug trade is one of the major illegal activity that is taking place on the north Goa’s beaches and there is an involvement of outsiders in that. Ajgaonkar said that the police inspectors in whose jurisdiction drugs are sold should be suspended immediately if found guilty of helping the drug mafia. “Outsiders who can uphold ‘Goenkarponn’ (Goanness) should be allowed to stay, the rest should be chased away. Goa’s culture and ‘Goenkarponn’ should be retained. These Lamanis should be stopped (from coming to Goa). A wrong message is sent because of them and the reputation of Goans is spoilt. This has to be done,” Ajgaonkar said, adding that his ministry would take action against Lamanis involved in illegal businesses.
After taking over as chief minister last month, Manohar Parrikar said that ‘Goenkarponn’ would be the cornerstone of his government’s policies and governance. Ajgaonkar also said that drugs cannot be sold in Goa if the police decide to crack down on it and alleged complicity of the police personnel in the trade. “Our officers know how the drugs are coming in or there cannot be a drugs business. Everyone who deals with this is connected. I am telling the CM that wherever drugs are found, the concerned officer should be suspended. Only this way we can find a way out of this,” he said.
NEWS SOURCE | IMAGE SOURCE