53 Nigerians detained in Goa over unruly protest

Fifty three Nigerians were detained after a mob of about 200 of them blocked a National Highway over the death of a fellow national.

Panaji: Fifty three Nigerians were detained today after a mob of about 200 of them blocked a National Highway over the death of a fellow national, prompting the Goa government to announce a major crack-down on foreign nationals living in the state without proper documents.

The mob blocked the Mapusa-Panaji Highway running through Porvorim village this afternoon after allegedly ransacking the police hearse van that was carrying the body of a Nigerian, who was found dead with multiple stab wounds at Parra village in Mapusa near here late last night, police said.

Following the incident, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters that he had asked the police department to comb the entire state and locate Nigerians and other foreign nationals staying without visa and other documentation.

Parrikar said that the murder was fall-out of a gang rivalry in the drug trade.

"We will also crack down on those involved in the drug trade extensively now. The action would be initiated in the next seven days and will continue in future," Parrikar said.

He also said that the establishments including clubs, pubs and restaurants which entertain foreign nationals without proper documents would face criminal cases.

Admitting that there was a failure of police informer network resulting in lower detection of drug cases, the Chief Minister said, "Virtually for five years, when Congress government was in power, the network had gone defunct."

Of the 53 Nigerians who were detained today, those involved in the ruckus would be arrested and the documents of others would be verified, Parrikar said.

Parrikar conceded that a few locals brutally beat up two Nigerians protesting on the road, who were admitted to the district hospital in Mapusa. "Locals who assaulted the Nigerians would also be booked," he said.