Panaji: Tourism minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said that Lamanis, members of a nomadic tribe mostly hailing from Karnataka, should be banned from Goa because they besmirch the reputation of Goa and don't fit in the coastal state's culture.
Speaking to IANS on Monday, Ajgaonkar also said that police inspectors in whose jurisdiction drugs are sold, should be suspended immediately, because they are complicit in drug trade.
"Outsiders who can uphold 'Goenkarponn' (Goanness) should be allowed to stay, the rest should be chased away. Goa's culture and 'Goenkarponn' should be retained. These Lamani's should be stopped (from coming to Goa). A wrong message is sent because of them and the reputation of Goans is spoilt. This has to be done," Ajgaonkar said, adding that his ministry would take action against Lamanis involved in illegal businesses.
Lamanis, known for their colourful costumes are involved in the seasonal tourism trade, selling trinkets and handmade clothes along the coastline to the hundreds of thousands of tourists who frequent the coastal state.
After taking over as Chief Minister last month, Manohar Parrikar said that 'Goenkarponn' would be the cornerstone of his government's policies and governance.
Ajgaonkar also said that drugs cannot be sold in Goa, if the police decide to crackdown on it and alleged complicity of the police personnel in the trade.
"Our officers know how the drugs are coming in or there cannot be a drugs business. Everyone who deals with this is connected. I am telling the CM that wherever drugs are found, the concerned officer should be suspended. Only this way we can find a way out of this," he said.