The year of upheavals for Goa

RUPESH SAMANT (PTI), PANAJI | 24 December 2010 13:34 IST

The image of Goa Police took a beating due to their alleged links with drug peddlers and failure to check crime against women during the year which also witnessed political upheavals.

Luck favoured Chief Minister Digamber Kamat as he was able to keep his chair intact despite several attempts by political rivals to destabilise him.

The Union Environment and Forest Ministry imposed a moratorium on clearing mining proposals in Goa till the state mineral policy was finalised.

On the law and order front, Goa had its share of problems. After much bad press for the goof-up in handling British teenager Scarlett Eden Keeling''s death case, the year saw the image of state police falling further.

Seven policemen, including inspector Ashish Shirodkar, were arrested after their alleged involvement in selling drugs to Israeli peddler Yaniv Benaim alias Atala was revealed by former Swedish model Lucky Farmhouse through her tapes shot on a spy camera.

The home department was also left red-faced as it was found that drugs stored in police lockers have gone missing.

The Crime Branch was assigned the job to investigate this case, which was of high-profile nature as Atala was allegedly connected to Home Minister Ravi Naik''s son.

Much to the embarrassment of the police force, Crime Branch left so many loopholes in the entire case that Atala managed to get bail and jumped it too. All the seven policemen were also set free.

The Bombay High Court passed severe strictures against the state police for handling the case ineffectively. But none of them were penalised and the home ministry maintained that they have sought Interpol''s assistance to get Atala back in India.

The death of Nadia Torraddo, a friend of former tourism minister Fransisco Pacheco also hit headlines.

Although police arrested Pacheco in connection with the death and made him spend a fortnight behind bars, nothing seems to have worked for the investigation of this case.

28-year-old Nadia died after consuming poison at her residence in south Goa. Her closeness to Pacheco created huge controversy and he had to quit the Kamat cabinet.

The year began with the shocking news of rape of a nine-year-old Russian girl at Arambol beach by two Indians.

But they were released by Goa''s children''s court which gave them the benefit of doubt.

South Goa-based politician John Fernandes was arrested in January for raping another Russian girl and his frequent bail pleas were rejected by the court. .

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Previous Comments

Why only the policemen, they are part of the problem the entire Goa and its governance took a beating. We should be ashamed of ourselves for allowing it to happen, playing deaf and dumb or dead if that would sound comforting.

There is a whole good chunk missing from the above enumeration.

There were two things likely to have happened to Atala. Either he would be able to escape or be lost forever, untraced. He managed to be just lucky.

Even politics came to physical violence over political terrain.

And' you ain't seen nothin' yet'. Just watch and learn before the year is out.

- Ludovico, Old-Goa | 24 th December 2010 16:15

 

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