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Two Russian interpreters deported from India

January 30, 2014, 17:12 UTC+3 NEW DELHI

Local authorities employed tougher measures against foreigners after an aggravation of the conflict between local taxi drivers and tour operators' drivers

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NEW DELHI, January 30. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Information Center in Goa reported on deportation of two Russian interpreters who worked at resorts of India’s smallest state.

The Russian citizens entered India on a business visa not violating the local laws, the center said in its address to Goa’s authorities and business community that had been faxed to the Itar-Tass office in New Delhi on Wednesday.

“For the past several days we had witnessed such cases, when Russian citizens employed by large tour operators were deported from Goa, although they had all valid documents,” the center said, paying attention to the fact that many Russian tourists did not have command of the English language and could not cope without interpreter services.

“We believe that tougher measures against Russian citizens, including the involvement of police to fight illegal business in Goa, will also affect companies operating in compliance with the Indian legislation,” the centre said.

“Under the Indian laws, you can have a business visa to work in the travel industry,” said lawyer Vikram Varma protecting Russian citizens’ interests in Goa. “Having business visas interpreters could have been employed on an ad hoc basis. The relevant verbal or written agreement should have been concluded with them. Nevertheless, it turns out what is allowed by the law, in practice is quite different. The recent deportation cases demonstrated that police had not taken this fact into consideration.”

The Indian news portal Herald reported that Goa’s police had been instructed to find foreigners illegally employed in the state’s travel industry. Goa Chief Minister Manohar Gopalkrishna Prabhu Parrikar made this decision after the aggravation of the conflict between local taxi drivers and tour operators’ drivers.

A Russian tourist complained that on Monday a motorcyclist cut off a bus full of eleven Russian tourists in Calangute, a census town with a permanent population of approximately 16,000 in North Goa. When the bus stopped, it was allegedly surrounded by 25 taxi men, who took the driver out of the bus and started beating him with metal rods. Passengers tried to defend their driver, but they were kept in the bus, being threatened with bodily harm.

The Russian Information Center in Goa said protests against tour operators that worked with Russians were large-scale. There have been reports about five cases of attacks on Indian drivers employed by such tour operators.

“For the past several days we have been receiving many calls from Russian tourists, who witnessed such incidents on Goa’s roads,” the center said. “They were shocked and frightened. The majority of tours had been cancelled.”

In 2013 a record high number of tourists, 2.8 million, including 450,000 foreign tourists, visited Goa. Over 120,000 tourists from Russia spent their holidays in Goa during last year’s hot season.

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