Kerala: Tragic, one-off; but tourists cautious

DC catches up with tourists amid political uproar over initial police indifference in Latvian murder case.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Foreign tourists, though dismayed by the rape and murder of the Latvian tourist in the State’s hotspot of Kovalam, have taken it as a one-off fatal adventure than a real scare, deterring travellers. Amid huge political uproar in the State over the initial police indifference and the victim’s sister Ilze Skromane’s laments, DC caught up with tourists in Kovalam on Thursday, the day the victim was laid to rest.


Ms Ann, from Sydney, and her Ukrainian friends Eugenia and Nadia, who are here for an ayurveda wellness treatment, feel that “no matter which part of the world, if we don’t adhere to the advisory given by our native country on do’s and donts then it could lead to serious consequences. This could happen anywhere, in India or in any other part of the world, including developed countries”.

Bernd NuechternBernd Nuechtern

Ms Olga, a banker in Siberia, and her daughter Sofia, who is doing her bachelor degree in international affairs, say they have no reason to suspect Kovalam is suddenly unsafe as a holiday destination. They have been staying at a resort here for the past 10 days and do not feel scared to cut short the stay.


But they would not venture to take a stroll on the beach at night as they had read “bad stories” about India on the internet. Ms Sofia then said that even though the tourism staff at the airport had warned them not to step out alone at night, she has not felt anything threatening.

Like Sofia, Mr Ivan and Ms Lena from Russia also feel that it is a safe family holiday spot. Mr Ivan works at NTPC in Bihar and has been living in India for five years now. “It’s safe and ambience quite balmy, can’t think of anything better”, says Mr Ivan. But wife Lena feels India is not a safe place for women to strike out alone. Mr Bernd Nuechtern, a flight crew from Germany, who has been coming to Kerala every year for the past 10 years, finds locals very polite and friendly. He boasts of his knowledge about different places across the country and says that “nothing will trouble you as long as you don’t do any mischief. We’ll keep coming to Kerala, God’s Own Country”.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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