A Goa-based NGO has written to the admin of a web portal, the crime branch, directorate of women and child development and the commissions for women and protection of children to take action against the web portal as it portrays an offensive image of Goa being a ‘sex destination’.

The NGO has urged a USA-based internet domain registrar and web hosting company to block the website alleging that it is providing misinformation and offensive information about women in Goa including tourist women who come to the state and the local women too. It also makes them vulnerable to sexual violence in the area because of the mirage the website creates for men.

“The website called Hookup Travels is portraying Goa as a sex destination. This website advises people on how to pick up tourist girls and how to hook up with local women in Goa. The website encourages travelling, enjoying and having fun with hot single girls in Goa. The information shared by the website creates a negative image about women and girls in Goa and makes the girls and women vulnerable to sexual violence,” ARZ Director Arun Pandey has said in a letter to the Administrator of the web hosting company, TOI reported.

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He also noted that the content shown on the website are illegal under The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 (No. 60 of 1986), Indian Penal Code, and The Information Technology Act, 2000.

“We would request you to initiate necessary action to ensure that the website is blocked or we would be forced to explore legal action,” Pandey said, as a copy of the letter has been sent to the Director of Women and Child Development, Goa State Commission for Women and Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights. They have also filed a separate complaint with the Cyber Cell of Goa Police.

“We would request you to initiate necessary action to ensure that the website is blocked or we would be forced to explore legal action”

The website which reviews various other countries across the world on its capacity to be easy or tough to pick up girls allegedly rates Goa to be an easy place to “pick up girls”. It demeans women further by judging them on the basis of looks and attitude of the girls in Goa, the chance of picking up girls, nightlife in Goa, tips for night time, etc.

“We intend to write to the website hosting company on details of the website. Our investigation has begun and accordingly, a decision will also be taken to write to the central ministry to block the website in India,” a senior police officer told Herald Goa.

The brazen availability of such websites has made Goa far more unsafe for women as it was earlier. So many horrifyingly violent cases of tourist women being raped and murdered are coming up from the state. Last year in May, a girl was brutally gang-raped by three men at Sernabhatim beach in South Goa. The incident took place in front of her boyfriend when the two were hanging out on the beach. The police have arrested the three accused and an investigation is going on. They have been charged with rape and robbery.

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