Goa minister snubs Russian diplomat | india | Hindustan Times
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Goa minister snubs Russian diplomat

india Updated: Jun 05, 2009 01:26 IST
Bhushan N

The tiff between Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik and Russian Consul General in Mumbai Alexander Mantytsky over crimes committed against Russian citizens in the state peaked into a verbal duel on Thursday.

An angry home minister told Mantytsky at a press conference, “Do not advise us on modifying our laws or how to enforce them.”

On Tuesday, Mantytsky, who visited Goa to follow up on the probe into the mysterious death of a 19-year-old Russian Elena Sukhonova told mediapersons that Russians face the same kind of discrimination in Goa as Indians face in Australia.

“Local rules allow people to stay up and party. Liquor is also available late in the night. If you don’t want people to do that, change the local laws.”

Naik replied: “Who is the Russian consul general to tell us what to do? The Goa police are enforcing law to the best of its abilities. We don’t need others instructing us.”

Sukhonova’s body was found on a railway track on May 8 at Revora near here. The Goa police have been accused of ignoring a piece of paper napkin found near the body next day, which had a map drawn out on it.

In fact, the Naik-Mantytsky duel started after the minister, while speaking on Sukhonova’s death on May 28, blamed foreigners themselves for the crimes against them.

Mantytsky said the policing machinery in Goa was inefficient and woefully slow while probing cases involving Russian citizens. He also accused the police of stonewalling updates on eight cases, where Russians either died or had been victims of crime.

“We have to stop tourists from late night drinking and travelling. How can the police follow and protect them when they are drunk late at night?” Naik said, adding that foreign tourists should follow the rules of the host country properly.