MAPUSA: Goa Police said that an argument over smoking at the poolside of a resort in Goa’s Anjuna on March 5 led to the attack on a group of tourists from Delhi.
“The tourists were smoking a hookah which led to the argument with a waiter when he told them it was a no-smoking area and they should stop smoking,” a police officer familiar with the investigation said.
The tourists began arguing with the waiter, which prompted the resort’s manager to intervene. The manager asked the waiter to take the rest of the day off.
A video later emerged showing the tourists arguing with the receptionist about being spoken to rudely while insisting “customer is king”. It shows the receptionist attempting to avoid being filmed while trying to pacify the guests.
Police said the tourists and the waiter got into an altercation again when they met outside. “Seeing a local being punched, a few bystanders got involved, and one of them started hitting the tourists with his belt…a driver took out a penknife and attacked the tourists, who suffered lacerations…,” the police officer said.
The manager declined to comment, citing the investigation but added no “staff has been fired as a result of the incident”. Some media reports claimed the waiter’s sacking led to the attack.
Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant said there were provocations from both sides. “It was first an argument between the tourists and the waiter. But after going out, the tourists tried to assault the waiter with a stone, after which he attacked one of them with a knife,” Sawant said.
The tourists have since denied any attempt to attack the waiter.
State tourism minister Rohan Khaunte said they would not tolerate such acts. “…it is unacceptable for anyone to take the law into their own hands. Strictest action will be taken against the culprits.”
Four people, including the waiter, have been arrested in the case. A fifth accused remained on the run.
Police initially registered the case under Indian Penal Code’s Section 327 (voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon). But after the tourists uploaded videos of the assault on social media and accused the police of allowing the accused to get away lightly, Section 307 (attempt to murder) was added to the First Information Report. The investigating officer in the case was also suspended. (HindustanTimes)