In a tragic incident, a US tourist on Tuesday was allegedly lynched by villagers and policemen at Korgao.
However, Pernem police have registered a case of unnatural death and are waiting for the arrival of US embassy officials for going ahead with postmortem.
Sources said that on Tuesday afternoon the US tourist identified as Caitan Vholte (30) had a fight with some Nigerians. He started running to save his life from them and took shelter in a house of a villager at Deulwada, Korgao, at 1.30 pm. He kept his bag at the house.
The locals, who suspected that a robber had entered the house, alerted the other villagers and tried to apprehend him. On seeing the people, the tourist ran out of the house. While fleeing Vholte stopped and waved a vehicle, asking the driver to take him to the police station.
The sources said that Vholte was shouting for help and trying to snatch keys of some scooters which had been waved down by him.
He ran towards the village junction where the villagers managed to apprehend him. He was allegedly beaten by the crowd. When police personnel arrived at the scene they tried to pacify the mob. As the situation threatened to go out of hand more policemen were called in.
More policemen came and tried to help the tourist, who was getting aggressive. It is alleged that the police personnel also beat him up.
However, in the melee Vholte managed to escape and ran towards Toombwada.
An eyewitness said, “He (the tourist) was totally out of control and was running helter-skelter. He went to one house asking for tea… he also stopped some two-wheelers and tried to grab the key.”
The tourist ran into the ploughed paddy fields at Toombwada which had sludge.
He was chased by the villagers and beaten up, the sources said, alleging that policemen too assaulted Vholte.
The exhausted Vholte stayed put in the fields till he took his last breath.
The sources claimed that deceased sustained head injuries which were covered with mud so that marks would not be visible.
The police claimed that Vholte ate the sludge and his throat got choked with mud.
The locals pulled him out of the fields by tying his hand and leg with ropes. The tourist was rushed to a government hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.
The Pernem police said that a case of unnatural death has been registered and the dead body has been sent to the Goa Medical College and Hospital at Bambolim.
His bag has been recovered by the police, which are investigating the case.