Do some of the homestay owners in Coorg indulging in nefarious activities like flesh trade and gambling?
In a shocking disclosure, Kodagu superintendent of police Varthika Katiyar (in picture) has admitted that illegal activities were going on in some of the homestays.
Katiyar noted that in an incident involving a homestay in Madikeri recently, fake police had carried out illegal activities and blackmailing.
She was responding to the issue on illegal activities in homestays in Kodagu district, which was subject of serious and elaborate discussion at the progress review meeting of Karnataka Legislative assembly committee on welfare of women and children, conducted by the committee chairperson Shakunthala T Shetty, at Madikeri on Thursday.
Actor and member of Karnataka legislative assembly committee on welfare of women and children, Jayamala, who raised the issue, alleged that illegal activities have been on rise in the homestays in Kodagu and asked the SP on the measures taken to combat the same.
Responding to the query, the SP said: “In an incident occurred in a home stay in Madikeri, two businessmen from Kerala had arrived at the home stay, with wrong intentions. Two men, who came in the police uniform, claimed themselves as police officers and beat up the two businessmen. The fake policemen robbed them off by blackmailing them after capturing nude photographs of the two businessmen, with the ladies at the homestay.”
She added that a case has been registered in this regard and the investigations are on and the accused will be arrested soon.
Katiyar further said homestays have been mushrooming in the district and many of them have been converted as centres of illegal activities. She added that the government policy on homestays, has not been clear enough.
According to reports, the SP had refused to respond to the media, on the incident which took place a few days ago where an incident of illegal activities and attack by fake police had taken place at a homestay belonging to a coffee estate owner at Haleri village, 13 km away from Madikeri.
Meanwhile, it was rumoured that the owners of a homestay where a major incident had occurred recently had not installed CCTV deliberately because the premises was being used for gambling.
EDITOR’S VIEW: The concept of homestays became popular because of the lack of accommodation for tourists in Kodagu. Homestays involve sharing of the house with tourists. The legendary hospitality of the people of Kodagu made homestays popular in the last one decade.
With tourists thronging Kodagu, many illegal homestays have mushroomed without government recognition.
The Kodagu district administration has failed to curb the menace of illegal homestays which are mainly involved in illegal activities. It is time the administration woke up to the menace by closing down these illegal homestays. The registered homestays owners should be made to adhere to the guidelines issued by the government, like maintaining a register for guests and installing CCTV in their premises.