Goa tourist attack: No background check conducted of resort staff, says CM

A Dutch woman tourist was attacked by a hotel staffer at Morjim in Pernem in the intervening night of March 29 and 30. The accused also attacked a local person who tried to rescue the tourist.

Goa tourist attack: No background check conducted of resort staff, says CM
Goa CM Pramod Sawant. (Photo source: Twitter/@DrPramodSawant)

A resort staffer has been arrested for stabbing and molesting a Dutch tourist and also stabbing another person who went to help the tourist, informed police officials on Friday.

Abhishek Verma, a 27-year-old from Dehradun who worked as a bartender at the Yoga retreat resort at Morjim in Pernem, was arrested for the attack on the night intervening March 28-29, the Goa police said.

The accused also attacked Eurica Dias, a local man who had rushed to the woman’s rescue.

 An FIR has been registered by the Pernem police under sections 452 (trespass with intent to assault), 354 (sexual assault), 307 (attempt to murder) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.

North Goa Superintendent of Police (SP) Nidhin Valsan said that a resort staffer trespassed into the rented tent of the victim, when she started to scream for help, Dias came to her help and on seeing him, the accused fled. After that the accused returned with a knife, assaulted Dias, further assaulted the victim before running away from the spot.

The knife used for the commission of the crime has been recovered, added Valsan.

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday informed the state legislative Assembly that the hotel that had employed the man accused of attacking the tourist had not verified his background, reported news agency PTI.

Goa Forward Party president Vijai Sardesai had moved a Calling Attention motion on the floor of the House about the attack claiming that such things bring disrepute to the tourism industry.

 Sardesai added that it was a collapse of law and order and the security of women in the state.

Responding to the motion, Sawant said Verma was arrested by the Pernem police immediately after it received the complaint.
Sawant also asked to hotels to only hire people who are registered with the labour department or have police verification as this was the second such attack on a tourist involving a hotel employee.

Police said a meeting of resort owners will be organised soon to brief them on a new protocol of mandatory police verification of all employees.

Condemning the attack, Goa Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte assured that such incidents will not be left unnoticed and action will be taken.

“This incident has to be condemned. Every tourist destination has its own challenges. We will not leave any such incident unnoticed, and action will be taken. We’ve to appreciate the fact a local Goan risked his life to save a tourist. We will ensure that Goa is a safe destination,” Khaunte told news agency ANI.

The minister also praised the local boy, who risked his life and tried to rescue the woman.

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First published on: 31-03-2023 at 18:19 IST
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