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India: Losing Goa and the Scarlett Keeling homicide case

Categories: South Asia, India, Governance, Law, Protest, Travel

My heart cries out that Goa the land of Sex, Drugs, Music, the once land of the hippies and lost Gods, had to be brought under the crime radar as a threat. Although I am partial in judging Goa, the land I spent my childhood and almost every other summer, it was not until the Scarlett murder [1], the conspiracy within and that odd feeling of lost sense of security in a familiar land, not only for foreigners but for the ‘other’ Indians alike has awakened the reality in this matter, losing ‘this once paradise’.

Colrama [2] blogs about why It is time to wake up [3]at Citizens Alliance, giving sketches about the Scarlett murder.

The latest incident of Scarlett Keeling, a British teenager whose body was found on the beach in Goa has been added to the list of tragic incidents that have marred the tourist circuit in India. The sad fact is that the Goa police who claim “Improving police – community relations is another thrust area…..This can happen only if we are able to perform not only on the law & order and crime front, but also in our public dealings by our helpful and sympathetic behavior towards people who come to us in their moment of distress. ……..Cases where women, children and the elderly are victims of crime should always receive our prompt attention” did not respond appropriately in the Scarlett Keeling case.
The actions of the local police to brush under the carpet what was obviously a homicide have not helped. Insistence by the mother of the victim who claimed her daughter was raped and murdered and demanded a second autopsy was casually brushed aside by the local police.

Colrama [4] goes on to add why Goa seems to be losing its lustre and is no more a pristine tourist paradise it once was. In a recent post [5]he has quotes from the Goan Chief Minister, Kamat, blaming Scarlett’s mother for the murder and thus trying to evade responsibility.

Kamat held Scarlett’s mother, Fiona equally responsible for her daughter’s death. “How can a mother, let her minor daughter go out so late in the night?” said Kamat.
“Tourists should take care of themselves.” he added.

Laz has taken this situation to another level; she is questioning God [6].

My co-worker’s revelation was met with the sadness and bile that gorge up upon hearing of tragedies like these. One of our numbers astutely pointed out that there are “sick people everywhere” and not so astutely proclaimed that this is further proof that God does not exist.
Yes, he knows that God does not exist because if there was a God he would have stopped this injustice.
What I do know is that the irrationality that such inanities betray is as much an indicator of fallen humanity’s depravity as the things that were done to this girl.

‘The Ying has settled on Goa’s Yang’ [7] say the Happy Shiny Bloggers,

Goa, the Hippie Mecca in the late 1960's and early 1970's, gave rise to a musical culture that embedded with the spiritual culture of India to give us Goa trance.
…But if this is what you know Goa for, she houses dancers no more; Goa has been case of a 15-year old Scarlett Keeling. For those who do not know, Scarlett's body was washed upon the shore of Anjuna Beach, the place which is coincidentally the epicenter of the peace and love culture, and its night-long parties.

The Happy Shiny Bloggers [8] are questioning why Goa has become the hide-out for the Russian Mafia. They go on to question the happy state of the locals.

Where is Goa now? With the Russian mafia using it as their hideout to launder billions of dollars, do arms deals, run prostitution rackets, real estate deals and things we may not possibly incur in our day-to-day life. Pedophiles seem to be everywhere with poor families from neighboring states selling their children to tourists, ominous signs in hotel lobbies warn clients not to take children up to their rooms…
..are the Goans happy with the last draft regional plan announced more than a year ago proposing to open 80% of agricultural and forest land for commercial exploitation. Apparently not, the current scenarios have given birth to websites like Save Goa. Fueling the Goans fury is that the police and politicians that are frequently accused of abetting crime and receiving money.
Oh wake up Goa, wake up, from being the creator of spirituality for lost souls around the world, to become the taker of souls, who would have seen. With corruption and greed fueling your streets and murdered bodies lying on your beach.

A Russian drug-dealer, Anjuna Atala [9] explains the corruption in the Goan police system, in this YouTube clip.

Meldreth from the United Kingdom, is asking the question out loud, is the world safe? In his blog post “Asking for Trouble” [10].

In the UK, common sense and logic has it that you just don't accept a ride in a private vehicle from a stranger. At times, this may seem like an over the top piece of parental advice, but is usually regarded as a sound tactic. Overseas, however, we lose this common sense for some reason.
Case in point: Scarlet Keeling, a Devon teenager living in India with her family, accepted a lift home from a stranger and wound up dead on a beach. Goa, India, where Keeling lived with her mother and siblings, is no London or Liverpool, but as a city of 1.5 million, similar precautions should be taken there as you might expect in the UK. However, as I can attest to, exotic countries can nullify one's sense of judgment. For example, when I was living in Nanjing, China, I thought nothing of flagging down a black cab. Well not nothing. I thought they were a cheaper alternative to licensed taxis. Granted I am a 16 year old male and Keeling was a 15 year old female, but the start of the sequence was the same. Whilst I usually traveled with several of my equally male friends, none of us were experts on the local road map and so could easily have been led into uncomfortable situations. Nothing untoward ever happened, but looking back, I was probably a bit foolish.

Ujj from Munity.in and Freedbird have more, here [11] and here [12].