Tourists Defying COVID-19 Protocols

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PACHU MENON, Margao

Are the Goa Police being scapegoated for the irregularities of its government! More often than not it is the police who are seen taking the fall for the whimsicalities of an administration which fails to justify some of its own promulgations. While the public has been quick to blame the police for its discriminatory stand on various issues, it has however had to abide by the orders of any political dispensation which is at the helm of affairs in the state. But in complying with the wishes of the government of the day, some of which have not been above controversy, it is the force which finally ends up receiving all the brickbats for its ‘insensible and inhuman’ acts. In view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country, the Goa government imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code in the state ahead of the festivals of Holi, Shab-e-Barat, Easter and Eid. Nevertheless, reports of the police failing miserably to control the crowd surge at the iconic Colva beach on the eve of the Holi festival despite the order prohibiting the gathering of four or more people in a specified area are ‘supposed’ to be  stark reminders of the ‘incompetence’ of the police. Nor have the police been able to prevent large congregations of people in other parts of the state either! The pandemic scare notwithstanding, tourists continue to make merry in the state with the police playing mute spectators to the tamasha being enacted. Various beach belts attribute tourists defying COVID-19 protocols and the laws of the land due to the absence of police personnel in the localities. These ‘indiscretions’ however tend to put a big question-mark over the efficiency of the police force which seemingly is found wanting in quite a few areas of its operations. But would it be fair to blame the police for all the ills that has befallen. The news that Goa is the only state which offers restriction-free travel in the country should give one an inkling of the importance the government has attached to reviving the economy of the state over the safety of its people.