Goa "rape" capital of India: Minister

Goa Panaji: Concerned over the spurt in incidents of sexual assault on women tourists, Goa Tourism Minister Fransisco Pacheco said today the state may gain notoriety as the "rape capital" of India.

In a letter to Chief Minister Digamber Kamat, a copy of which is with PTI, Pacheco said an impression was gaining ground that the police in Goa was either "grossly incompetent or influenced by other factors", as a result of which complaints were not properly investigated.

The minister was referring to the recent alleged rape of a 25-year-old Russian by a high-profile south Goa politician John Fernandes.

"Goa may soon, if police inaction or ineffectiveness continues, gain reputation as the rape capital of India, a situation which cannot be permitted to develop at any cost," Pacheco said in the missive he shot off to Kamat today.

Pacheco, who recently received a letter from Russian Consul General in Mumbai Alexander Mantytsky seeking proper investigation into the alleged rape and police harassment of the victim, said it was "disheartening" to note that foreign consulates and embassies were called upon to intervene in matters involving their nationals, which was entirely due to failure of the police to take prompt action on complaints lodged by foreigners.