“Being stopped by criminals on the backwaters sends a very bad message to tourists. It is as if a bandit stopped us at gunpoint and delayed us under the threat of force for one hour,” Levitt wrote in an email to his tour agent
The general strike called by Congress-Left trade unions has hit the tourism sector in various parts of the country. In an incident that brought shame to the country, left trade unionists stopped Nobel laureate and renowned biophysicist Michael Levitt, leaving him stranded in a houseboat in Alappuzha.
Michael Levitt, a Stanford University professor who won the Nobel prize in Chemistry in 2013, said the incident sent a bad message to tourists. He said he felt as if a bandit had stopped his wife and him at gunpoint.
“Being stopped by criminals on the backwaters sends a very bad message to tourists. It is as if a bandit stopped us at gunpoint and delayed us under the threat of force for one hour,” Levitt wrote in an email to his tour agent. He also said that the person who blocked them “ignored all arguments that tourists were exempted” from the strike.
Earlier, the trade union leaders had promised that the tourism sector was exempted from the general strike. But it was not reflected on the ground today. As per reports, boats were stopped at several other places in Alappuzha.
“This person, who did this, ignored all arguments that tourists were exempted and that I am a VIP guest of the Kerala government. He was obviously acting, knowing that he was safe from prosecution. Sadly, this makes me fear that India is sinking into lawlessness,” Levitt wrote in the email.
The police have arrested four CPM criminals in connection with the incident. The police have stated that all the four accused belong to CITU, trade union of CPM. Among those arrested are former CPM branch secretaries. The local police had registered a case based on the complaint filed by the houseboat owners.