Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik on Thursday said the government would ban the entry of Sri Rama Sene chief Pramod Muthalik, who has vowed to 'detoxify' the state from pub culture. And it has found support from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who called the group 'a bunch of crooks and criminals'.
"We will not tolerate any form of dadagiri (hooliganism) here. We are a peaceful, harmonious, multicultural state," Naik told reporters.
Muthalik, at a public meeting in Belgaum, a Karnataka district close to Goa, on Wednesday said he along with his supporters would enter Goa to protest against the 'pub culture' in the coastal state.
"We will agitate and create awareness against pub culture in Goa since this culture is spreading to other parts of the country," Muthalik said.
Responding to Muthalik's threat, the minister said he would take up the issue with the director general of police in Goa and look at ways in which the Sri Rama Sene's threat could be handled.
"We will consider all options to ensure that what happened in Mangalore does not happen here. He (Muthalik) has been banned from entering Mangalore. We will ban him here too," Naik said, adding the state was already considering several other pre-emptive measures
The home minister said apart from measures orchestrated by the state, there were several other sociological factors which would deter outfits like the Sri Rama Sene from setting shop in Goa.
"Goa is a literate state. People here are aware and more conscious. They will not accept such blatant hooliganism," he said.
Leader of Opposition and BJP leader supported the move and said that the Rama Sene should be thrown out 'lock stock and barrel'.
"The Sri Rama Sene nothing but is a bunch of crooks and criminals. They should not be allowed in Goa," he said.
"Our (BJP) government has already banned them in certain parts of Karnataka, but it looks like the Congress wants to keep the issue alive," Parrikar added.
The Hindu group was in the news recently after its members beat up women in a Mangalore pub. Muthalik, its founder, has nearly 45 cases filed against him in different districts of Karnataka.