A spat in a hotel at Merces took an ugly turn on Wednesday after four persons from the village attacked with sharp weapons a group of 47 tourists – men, women and children from Vasai, Mumbai.
The locals also damaged the bus carrying the tourists while it was leaving a guesthouse at Merces.
The fight left ten tourists injured and two of them, including the bus driver, sustained bone fractures.
Three of the accused were also injured as the tourists subsequently overpowered and beat them up.
All the injured were treated at the Goa Medical College and Hospital, Bambolim, and were discharged.
The Old Goa police said that three persons – Vishal Golatkar, Lawrence Dias and Suraj Shetye – have been arrested. However, the police are on the lookout for the fourth accused Sai Kundaikar.
Golatkar, Dias and Shetye were previously involved in criminal offences, the police said adding that all the accused are from Merces.
Detailing how the fight unfolded, the police said that one of the accused had a quarrel with four tourists at a hotel at Merces on Wednewday morning. They were at the hotel for breakfast. While having breakfast an elderly tourist’s hand mistakenly touched the local man who was sitting on the table behind the tourists. The visitors apologised for the accidental touch, but the accused picked up an argument with the tourists.
At this juncture, it looked that the spat ended as the tourists as also the accused left the hotel.
The tourists joined their group which had checked out of a guesthouse which is located some metres away from the hotel.
The group got on their bus, and as the vehicle had been leaving the guesthouse area the four accused intercepted it and damaged its windscreen and side window glass by pelting stones, the police said.
Bus driver Shivaji Shelke was pulled out of the vehicle. The accused assaulted him – they hit the bus driver with a club, kicking and slapping him.
The cops, who had arrived at the spot, and the tourists nabbed one of the accused. Seeing this, the other three accused left the place and came back with a koita, a knife and sword and started assaulting bus occupants, the police said adding that the tourists managed to overpower the two accused while the third attacker managed to take to his heels.
North Goa SP Karthik Kashyap said that “at 10.30 am a call was received for robert police van, which reached the spot in nine minutes.”
Old Goa police personnel also reached the spot and brought the situation under control.
An FIR has been registered against the accused under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including Section 307 (attempt to murder).
A complaint in this regard was lodged by Lahu Ghodekar (58) from Vasai, Mumbai.