Panaji: Goa is used as a "resting place" for unwanted elements and terrorists, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the legislative assembly Thursday.
The remark came as the assembly discussed the ease with which terror suspects Yasin Bhatkal and David Headley reconnoitered terror-targets in the tourist state and hired accommodation.
Parrikar also told the House that an online module was being worked out, so that information of hotel guests could be uploaded to a police portal in real time; hotels that fail to share guest details would be punished severely, the chief minister said.
"Many times, Goa is being used as a resting place by unwanted elements, maybe by terrorists," Parrikar said, while responding to a question by independent legislator Rohan Khaunte, who asked whether the fact that Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal had stayed and reconnoitered in Goa amounted to an intelligence failure.
"For Indian citizens, a hotel is supposed to keep the identity documents, but I cannot expect hotels to verify identity, unless there is suspicion," Parrikar said.
Parrikar further said that the state government would start a new advertising campaign to create awareness about the importance of keeping identification documents.
"If the House agrees, we will start a series of advertisements to create awareness about this. But after that, if the hotels do not record (details of) every guest who stays there, we will take action," Parrikar said.
Bhatkal, who was arrested at the Indo-Nepal border August, had confessed during interrogation by National Intelligence Agency (NIA) officials to staying in Goa for nearly one year, during which time he had recconoitered several potential terror-targets in the beach tourism state.
Terror accused David Headley had already reconnoitered the two chabad houses (Jewish prayer houses) in Goa in Anjuna and Arambol, both coastal villages, some years back.