The tourists, that included 26 children, had arrived earlier in the day from Kavaratti, the headquarters island of Lakshadweep. They were about to board a mini-boat that would take them to the cruise ship, MV Kavaratti, when about 300 local villagers stopped them saying they did not have valid tickets. The tourists had to stay on the island without food or water till around 2.30am on Sunday when help finally arrived.
Meanwhile, chief minister Narendra Modi, whose office was informed of the incident, called up Union home minister P Chidambaram and asked him to intervene in the matter. Officials of the Gujarat Information Office in New Delhi said in a statement that the issue was then taken up directly with the administrator of Lakshadweep to resolve the crisis.
The tourists’ torment ended when the police dispersed the villagers and escorted them to the ship that would take them to Minicoy Island, the third (and last) island on their itinerary. The port officer said all had valid tickets and they were allowed to board the vessel.
The group left for Kochi on Sunday evening and is expected to reach there by Monday afternoon.
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