India's Goa state bans beach parties on security fears
Authorities in India's south-western resort state of Goa have banned beach parties due to security threats following last month's Mumbai attacks, news reports said Sunday, dpa reported.
The state government decided to ban the popular beach parties during Christmas and New Year's holidays, after a security meeting on Saturday.
"There will be no beach parties from December 23, 2008 to January 5, 2009 due to security reasons. But hotel and traditional parties will be allowed," Goa Chief Minister M Digamber Kamat was quoted by the CNN-IBN news channel as saying.
According to a report in the Times of India, the state police had approached the government seeking a ban claiming intelligence inputs that "Goa in general and foreigners in particular" could face a terrorist strike.
Federal security agencies said additional police were deployed in the state and security was tightened along the Indian coastline following the November 26 Mumbai attacks which left 173 people dead.
The move was seen as a setback to the tourism industry in Goa, whose internationally renowned beaches attract over 2 million tourists every year.
Tens of thousands of foreign and domestic tourists throng to the beaches for celebrations at the close of the year.
Beach shack owners told the Times that the ban will hurt their business as their highest revenue was generated during parties on New Year's eve.
The season has already been slack with an almost 70 per cent drop in business owing to the global economic slowdown as well as the Mumbai terrorist attacks.