CANDOLIM: With several incidents having been reported wherein valuables have been robbed from parked vehicles of tourists, Sinquerim locals are demanding that a police booth be set up near the popular tourist spot at Sinquerim lighthouse to keep anti-social elements at bay.
The locals said that the police booth needs to be set up soon as in a month’s time the tourist season is going to start and with tourist flow increasing, such cases of theft would again come to the fore. The lighthouse spot sees hordes of tourists, including international, on a regular basis.
The site, being a major tourist attraction, has also become a suitable location for anti-social elements to target tourists by robbing their valuables such as electronics that are mostly left behind in their vehicles.
According to villagers, there is a gang operating in the area that commits robberies by breaking car windows or opening the under seat storage
compartment of two-wheelers.
The locals had raised the issue in the gram sabha and, thereafter, the panchayat had installed caution boards near the lighthouse advising the tourists not to keep their valuables in their vehicles.
Locals, running stalls near the lighthouse, want some kind of police presence at the spot so that it acts as a deterrent to thefts. They said that police patrolling is happening, but it was not enough to keep the anti-social elements away. Hence, a police booth was the need of the hour, they stated.
“Robberies are bringing a bad name to the village. If nothing is done about it, the lighthouse will lose its attraction among the tourists. There are a lot of things happening, but tourists often do not file complaint at the police station in order to avoid court formalities. Like this tourists have forgone their expensive gadgets such as cameras, handbags containing cash, etc,” stated a local.
Stall owners at Sinquerim lighthouse, recalling an incident, stated that their stalls were burnt some years ago because some stall owners had complained to the police about the robberies.
Sarpanch of Candolim Blaize Fernandes said that the panchayat has installed boards cautioning tourists over safety of their belongings. The MLA wanted to set up a tourist information centre and toilets in the vicinity of the lighthouse, but it was turned down, it was stated.
Calangute PI Jivba Dalvi when asked if there were any complaints filed at Calangute police station, he replied in the negative.