In a bid to curb police harassment for tourists visiting Goa, the state government has decided to issue special stickers for vehicles. By Bayar Jain

 

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Goa is undoubtedly one of the top tourists hubs in the nation, enticing over seven million tourists over the past one year alone. Despite it’s relaxing beaches and hospitable locals, tourists thronging to this small state are often subjected to harassment by local cops, largely with respect to the lack of proper documentation for tourist vehicles. To combat this, Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar has decided to initiate special stickers for vehicles.

Expressing concern, the minister reportedly said that many traffic policemen unnecessarily stop tourists and harass them, even impose fine, this shouldn’t happen and those riding two-wheeler with a helmet on shouldn’t be stopped either. He also mentioned that cars not registered in Goa will be checked at the border itself and will be given a sticker which they will have to put on the screen.

 

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These stickers, once released, are meant to serve as an indication that all documents of the vehicle are in order. However, if someone is drunk or violating rules, police can continue to act against them. Earlier, tourists have been stopped in the name of ‘document verification,’ in turn resulting in unnecessary checking and harassment. This issue has been discussed by the ruling party, as well as the opposition on several occasions in the state assembly. According to Ajgaonkar, this harassment and unnecessary stopping ‘destroys the idea of a holiday.’

Earlier this year, Ajgaonkar also pointed out that tourism in the state had faced a downfall due to police targeting “innocent tourists” instead of going after drug racketeers. Then, pesky hawkers and tourist beds, which encroach on the state’s beaches, were some of the other factors Ajgaonkar listed. With regards to foreign travellers, he believed that visa problems added to the hassle.

Related: Wish To Drink Alcohol On The Beach? Goa Is No Longer An Option