Goa, often praised as the Pearl of the East, has always been synonymous with its sun-bathed beaches, a vivid blend of Indian and Portuguese culture and a destination for rejuvenation. Yet, a series of worrying incidents have recently cast a shadow over its contradictory image.
A look at recent disturbing events
Within just one week, there has been a rise in serious incidents, including five murders and reports of molestation. The epicenter of these tragedies spread across both North and South Goa.
In the northern region, Porvorim, Old Goa and Bicholim witnessed horrific incidents, while the southern districts, especially Mardol, Fatorda and Maina-Curtorim also could not escape the grip of these crimes.
As the investigation is going on, the political atmosphere is heating up and blame is being placed on the governance of the state. Opposition leader Yuri Alemao has been vocal in his criticism and has blamed the misgovernance of the BJP-led state government for the deteriorating law and order situation.
Going deeper into the murders
It is important to understand that most of these incidents arise from personal grievances and complex interpersonal relationships. Be it property disputes or soured relationships, the underlying thread is linked to personal vendetta. A detailed investigation by TOI has revealed that barring one incident, the accused and the victim often share a close relationship - such as family, lovers or friends.
Take, for example, the case of Chandirka Sahni, a resident of Talegao. A property dispute that originated miles away in Uttar Pradesh resulted in the loss of a 32-year-old man's life. Such cases reflect the complex and intricate socio-economic fabric that often plays a role in these crimes.
A call for speedy justice
With each passing incident, the call for immediate action grows louder. Notable personalities, including Goa Forward Party MLA Vijay Sardesai, are also joining the chorus and expressing their concerns over Goa turning into a soft state for crime. The increasing frequency and severity of crimes is shaking the ethos of this vibrant state, bringing despair to its residents.
Shocking personal complaints and relationships turned sour
The story of a young man taking the life of his girlfriend is prominent in the list of tragedies. Driven by anger and despair after his breakup, Fakir aka Prakash Chunchwad from Porvorim took the unthinkable. In another tragic incident, a youth, Sadiq Bellary, was found dead at his residence in Davorlim, South Goa. Prompt action by Goa Police led to the arrest of two suspects from Karnataka in connection with the crime.
Furthermore, in many cases family relationships and trust have been violated. A scrap collector's life came to a brutal end due to his wife's illicit affair in Bicholim. Another man from Jharkhand took his wife's life on suspicion of extramarital affair in South Goa's Banastarim.
The dreadful shadow of tampering
Apart from gruesome murders, the threat of molestation also looms large. Teachers, often seen as guides and advisors, have been implicated in South and North Goa. An even more disturbing case is that of a seventy-year-old man in South Goa accused of violating the trust of his own granddaughter.
Goa, with its mesmerizing charm, stands at a crossroads. While the tranquility of its beaches attracts tourists from around the world, the recent increase in serious incidents is a reminder of the challenges it faces. It is the collective responsibility of its governance, citizens and every stakeholder to ensure that the sun's rays continue to shine on this beautiful state. To maintain the sanctity of Goa, security, trust and justice must be maintained.