A 30-year-old US tourist died after falling in a paddy field at a village in Pernem taluka of north Goa after he was chased by a group of villagers who suspected him to be a thief, police said.
Caitan Vholte is suspected to have suffocated after falling in sludge in the field at Korgao village on Tuesday. “We have sent the body for post-mortem. We will know the exact cause of death after getting the report,” SP (North) Umesh Gaonkar said.
According to the police, Vholte squabbled with three Nigerian tourists at a beach. Then he entered a house in Korgao. The residents raised an alarm, after which locals tried to catch him. As he fled. Vholte fell down in the field. The police said they tried to help him out of the sludge, but he died.
A local TV channel reported that locals allegedly tied Vholte to a tree stump and assaulted him. “Five policemen arrived but remained spectators. Vholte offered the police $100 to take him away from the mob, but they failed to do so,” the reporter said. Police denied the allegation.
Leader of Opposition Pratapsingh Rane raised the matter in the Assembly on Wednesday. “I have been told that police and locals assaulted the tourist. If this is the case, who will come to Goa?” he asked. CM Laxmikant Parsekar said that according to his knowledge, the tourist died of suffocation after he fell in sludge.