Panaji police filed a negligence case against M.S. Fernandes, the captain of the MV Boa Sorte, and other managers from owner Casino Carnival following the drowning of Saidanush Reddy, a 20-year-old student who fell from the boat into the Mandovi River. The government last year raised the admission age to Goa casinos to 21 from 18, but the National Students Union of India demanded that the bar be raised further to 25 following the student’s death or that the state’s casinos simply be shut.
The police said that Reddy and a friend had gotten into an argument on the boat and gone into an area barred to passengers then Reddy had slipped when staff told them to return to the passenger area. Ozler Fernandes, the head of Goan Carnival, alleged that Reddy and his friend trespassed into a restricted area of the ship and used criminal force against a staff member.
The Panaji city council voted last month to require that the floating casinos leave the Mandovi for the sea and close their offices on the riverside. Casino Carnival, part of Goan Carnival and Leisure Pvt. Ltd., also operates an onshore casino.