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Goa home ministry refers to Africans as 'Nigros'

Panaji: After two Goa lawmakers termed Nigerians "cancer" and "wild animals", the state home ministry has referred to Africans as "Nigros" in an annexure submitted to the assembly.

The annexure was submitted along with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's written reply tabled during the monsoon session of the assembly Wednesday.

It referred to an African national arrested in the beach village of Calangute May 8 as an "unknown African Nigro".

"Negro" is considered a racially offensive word once used to refer to Africans.

The Congress lambasted the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government for the use of the word in official documentation, saying such unfortunate references create a bad image about Goa among the international tourist community.

In November 2013, while responding to a road blockade by Nigerians protesting the murder of a fellow national, Goa's Art and Culture Minister Dayanand Mandrekar called Nigerians a "cancer", before apologising for his utterances.

Subhash Phaldesai, a BJP legislator from Sanguem, described Nigerians as "wild animals" pumped with drugs shortly after the row.

A local English language newspaper also went to the extent of using the word 'Nigro' last year while referring to Nigerians, while quoting a police officer in its report. The newspaper later apologised for the error.

"A circular needs to be sent to departments asking them to refrain from making such racist remarks. We are a tourist state and such words send negative signals to international tourists," Congress spokesperson Durgadas Kamat said.

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