Karnataka flays Goa's move to evict Lambani tribes from beaches

Karnataka flays Goa's move to evict Lambani tribes from beaches

Karnataka flays Goa's move to evict Lambani tribes from beaches

The Karnataka government today flayed the Goa tourism department's decision to evict Lambanis, a Kannada-speaking nomadic tribe, from the beaches, terming it "anti-democratic" and an "attack on the federal system".

"The controversial remarks by the Goa tourism minister reflects the anti-democratic attitude of the BJP government there. Also, it is an attack on the core intentions of our federal system," Karnataka Industries Minister R V Deshpande said here.

Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar had yesterday said, "The tourism department has decided to form special squads along with the police department to remove the Lambanis from the beaches."

"They are creating nuisance along the beach stretches. They are illegally vending on the beaches. They roam around in a group and are troubling tourists especially foreigners," he had said.

Terming it "unfortunate", Deshpande said such statements, targeting a particular community, shows that the Goa government is "unmindful that it is disturbing the social fabric."

Asserting that the Goa government is generating considerable revenue from tourism, the Karnataka minister said such an act of "prejudice" and "bias" will not behove the government there.

"I once again request the Goa government to withdraw from such controversial stand and to look at all communities  equally with respect," he said in a statement here.

The Goa tourism minister had also warned his department officials of suspension on failing to clear the beaches, but had said that those Lambanis who have permission to run businesses will be given protection.

In the past too, a sense of unease between both the states had prevailed, with Goa's decision to remove hutments of mostly Kannada-speaking people from Baina beach in 2015. Both states have also locked horns over the issue of sharing Mahadayi River water.