India bans Goa beach parties in wake of Mumbai blast

Sat Dec 20, 2008 7:27am EST
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article
[-] Text [+]

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Authorities in India's tourist destination of Goa have banned Christmas and New Year parties on its beaches, following security threats after the Mumbai attacks, a top police officer said on Saturday.

"No party will be allowed in the open on any beach of Goa between December 23 and January 5," Kishan Kumar, the Inspector General of Police told Reuters on Saturday.

"Obviously there is a security threat, but we cannot say anything more specific at the moment," he said by telephone from Goa.

At least 179 people were killed in Mumbai last month in a militant attack, which India says was carried out by Islamist militants from Pakistan.

India has tightened security around the country, especially in coastal areas following the Mumbai attacks, in which militants used a sea route to reach India.

Thousands of tourists travel to Goa every month to visit its beaches, also famous for night-long parties.

"Tourism is a lifeline of Goa, this decision will seriously affect tourism," Vikram Varma, a lawyer in Goa, said.

"After all, Christmas is just round the corner."

(Reporting by Bappa Majumdar; Editing by Ralph Boulton)