Goa still reeling under rape of foreign tourists

Masseur rapes foreign tourist in Goa; CM orders crackdown on massage parlour
Sweet Water Lake, Arambol
Sweet Water Lake, ArambolGomantak Times

A month ago, a 12-year-old Russian minor was sexually assaulted in the swimming pool of a resort at Arambol Beach, in North Goa. Another incident of sexual assault from Arambol Beach has now come to light. A British tourist was raped in front of her partner, on the pretext of a massage, when she was relaxing at the beach. The incident took place on June 2, 2022.

A woman after consulting with her UK family and the British embassy in India complained to Pernem police. On June 6, police arrested a local resident, Joel Vincent D'Souza, 32, in connection with the incident. The alleged accused will be produced in court on June 14, 2022 an official said.

Arambol beach, in North Goa, is quite popular among international tourists. The alleged accused, Joel Vincent D'Souza, is believed to have been a school librarian before joining a group that illegally offers massages to tourists.

On June 2, on the pretext of a massage, he allegedly raped a British woman, who was relaxing near Sweet Lake. On Monday, the woman lodged a complaint. Within a few hours, the police swung into action and arrested the accused, Joel, who was booked under IPC Section 376 (punishment for rape) and has been sent to four days police custody.

CM swings into action, orders crackdown on illegal massage parlour

Following the incident, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant swung into action and ordered a crackdown on the illegal spa and massage parlour. He personally visited several beaches to inspect the situation. The CM said that police inspectors of respective areas will be held responsible if illegal activities are found taking place in the name of massages.

According to the information given by the 'ARZ' (Anyay Rahit Zindagi) NGO through RTI. “There are only 166 registered spa/massage parlours in Goa. Five massage parlours have had their licenses revoked in the last ten years. These licenses have been revoked by the massage parlour owners themselves. But, in the last ten years, not a single massage parlour has been shut down for engaging in illegal activities.”

Recent occurrences of sexual assault on women

Goa is a favourite tourist spot and attracts many foreign tourists every year. After the rape of the British woman, the issue of security of foreign nationals has once again erupted in Goa. But, this is not an isolated incident. Here are some incidents which were in the news recently.

February 2008: British teenager, Scarlett Keeling, was raped and murdered in February 2008. Her body was found on Anjuna beach, North Goa. In 2019, the court convicted one of the two men charged with the rape and killing of the teenager. The case also grabbed international attention because British nationals formed the largest number of tourists visiting Goa.

March 2017: A 28-year-old British-Irish woman was raped and murdered in Goa in March 2017. Her body was later found at an isolated spot on a beach in South Goa's Devbag village, 80 km from Panjim. A local confessed to raping her, and later killing her to conceal his identity.

December 2021: A 31-year-old foreigner was raped by two people in a bar and restaurant in Siolim, in North Goa. The victim had gone for dinner to the bar and restaurant. When she was on her way to the toilet, the two accused took her inside and raped her. Goa police arrested two people in connection with the incident.

March 2022:- A 12-year-old Russian girl was allegedly sexually assaulted in the swimming pool of a resort and later inside the hotel room by a married man, who works as a room attendant at the resort. Goa police arrested a Karnataka native for allegedly raping the minor.

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