Goa village wary of Russians

rupesh samant (pti), morjim | 20 February 2010 21:33 IST

Morjim, a border in Pernem taluka situated on Goa-Maharashtra border, is wary about the Russians dominating the locals. A villager was fatally attacked recently by a Russian running business here.

Sarpanch Ratnakar Shetgaonkar is little reluctant to speak against the Russians, but surely public pressure mounting on him is visible. "We will see to it that the Russians are not allowed to run shacks here from the next season," he said.
 
This locality that sheltered and thrived on Russians is now up in arms against these visitors. The atmosphere in this beach village of Morjim is against the foreigners, who always found the place as their second home.
 
A gramsabha meeting has been called on Sunday, 21 February, to thrash out the issue of death of Ravi Shetgaonkar, a taxi driver. He died after he was attacked by a Russian, running a bar and restaurant in this beach village.
 
‘'Some locals get the shack licence from the state tourism department and allow Russians to run the trade after accepting few thousand rupees,'' a villager said.
 
This village in Pernem taluka has become heaven for Russians as they prefer to live together in a cluster due to language constraint.
 
"They (Russians) hardly talk English. So when they arrive in Goa, they search for fellow Russians and their roads lead to our village," Raju Mandrekar, running a kiosk in the village, explained.
 
This has forced the locals to change the traditional ways of doing business. They find Russians as a means to make quick bucks.  The shacks on this beach displays menu in Russian language as they know their targeted clientele.
 
But what changed the entire outlook towards Russians here was Shetgaonkar getting killed at the hands of one such Russian.  

Shetgaonkar breathed his last while undergoing treatment in the hospital this week, triggering unrest amongst the locals. The massive crowd that gathered for the funeral was an indication of the popularity of this taxi driver, who was born and brought up in this village.
 
"Gram sabha scheduled this Sunday will take appropriate decision on Russians in this village. Till than, we will not comment anything,"  said Vasant Shetgaonkar. He heads a local organisation called `Morjim Ekvott.'
 
Although reluctantly, the village now stands united against the Russians. Their move is also backed by political parties, who have issued statements in support.
 
"There is no control of police over activities of these Russians. They pretend to come here as tourists, but God knows what kind of business they are indulged in," Sangeeta Parab, former state education minister, who represented Mandrem constituency (covering Morjim village) in state legislative assembly, said.
 
According to her, police needs to clamp down upon the activities of the foreigners and they should be deported back to their country, if they are found indulged in business activities despite being on tourist visa.
 
"There is a clear nexus between police and the foreign mafia. It allows illegal activities on the beaches including Morjim," Dr Carmo Pegado, Goa unit president of the ruling Nationalist Congress party (NCP), said.
 
He said that Russian, German and Israeli mafia is flourishing in North Goa's beachbelt.
 
State police themselves had hinted at Russian mafia's presence in this village when they served deportation notice to Leonid Beyzer, a Russian, who was allegedly having mafia links.
 
The ruling Congress party too has expressed its dissatisfaction over the increasing influence of Russians over this village. "They are welcome as tourists, but they should not act smart and misbehave with locals," Goa congress spokesman Vishnu Wagh said at a press conference.
 
"Most of the cases against Russians in Goa are of overstaying except for a couple of drug cases and recent incident of a murder," Vikram Varma, representative of the Consul General of Russian federation in Mumbai, said.
 
He said that the in crimes committed by anybody, the law must take its course without any heed to nationality. 
 

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Previous Comments

We don't want Russians here running businesses. All they do is deal in drugs and prostitutes. They are arrogant and ill mannered. They are always in the news for the wrong reasons. Their women are scantily clad and show no respect for local traditions.

- Kumar, Morjim | 19 th July 2010 17:06

 

Goa for Goans??? That's very nice! So this is your place & no one else can live there??? That is what you are saying? Do you know how many Indian people live all over the world??? Do you know how many Indian people doing business in Moscow, New York, London, Toronto??? And no one is saying them that they can't do that.

- Masin, Toronto | 30 th June 2010 23:15

 

Mr truth and mr George are same person better. if morjim guys were agresive in nature then tourism would had never get this far. russian are very arogant and the world knows about it accept Mr truth and George who may be russian.

- jeorge Fernandes, Goa | 22 nd June 2010 22:37

 

to Mr.George,Were you there when the russian was attacked??did you see that with your own eyes..don't just tell stories which you have heard from someone else...Nowadays the russians are loud and very rude..they think this pace is of their forefathers and can do whatever they want...tell you what..first behave if you want to stay in Goa...Goans are good people that is the reason people like coming to Goa ...but if you try to take advantage of their good nature, then obviously tide will turn up against you..and it's a good thing that russians will not be allowed to run shacks from the next season...Goa Belongs to Goans and therefore first preference for any business should be for all goans ...others are welcome as tourists...thats it...got it...

- abhay, goa | 16 th April 2010 12:30

 

I find it's funny, that Goans don't tell the real truth.

That russian guy, Konstantin Morozov, was ATTACKED by drunk mob of taxi drivers, which disliked his far light on his bike.

They started beating him and he punched this poor guy in the face. So he felt and hit rock with his sore head.

Nobody knows THAT truth for some reason. It's much easier to say that this particular Goan guy was an angel. It's easier and more convenient. Especially after all that rape accidents.

Also, Konstantin was running shack wich provided exclusive european menu and was always really polite and funny guy.

You know, when you get beaten, you retaliate. And bad things happens all time.

- George, Siolim | 26 th March 2010 22:52

 

1. Locals cannot run business in such a way, so it would be interesting to tourists. Service in local restaurants is horrible, food even worse. That's a reason why Russians go to Russian restaurants and Israeli to Israelis. To run restaurants and guesthouse themselves and have foreign customers is a local dream, which will never come true.

2. Not every big men with tattoos is mafia. Mafias left long ago and not interested in Goa anymore.

so pleeease get real, you are dealing with usual Russians. and maybe you should take a look at the guy who is accused, he is shorter and smaller than average girl...

3. You should find out how Morjim taxi drivers are dealing with people before saying anything about brothers and what government should do. I am 99% sure that they attacked the guy first and Russian's attack was in self-defense, because that's what they normally would do. look at the car of Russian guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjojO-VWJh8&feature=player_embedded

4. If you want Goa to be safe and clean, may be you should start from punishing locals who rape and attempt to rape foreigners?

- Truth, Goa | 22 nd February 2010 23:16

 

Tourists are most welcome to Goa, but not the businessmen. Because first priority goes to the locals and the nationals of the said country. We want safe and clean Goa as it was before. So I humbly request to the Goa government to punish the Russian, who is involved in the murder of our brother Mr. shetgaonkar and send back all the mafias from Russia and other parts of the world, based in Goa.

- sudeep, vasco da gama | 21 st February 2010 16:24

 

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