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Influx of migrants linked to crime rise in South Goa

Margao: The massive inflow of migrants and their activities in villages of Salcete particularly Margao, Colva, Maina-Curtorim, Cuncolim has contributed to a number of cases related to crime like muscle power activities and it has become a concern for the resident population.

Moving late night in the city or in a village of Salcete has become difficult. Gangs of migrants can be seen moving around freely who remain unchecked by police alleged a senior citizen.  Night and day patrolling has also not shown any positive results as it is done only for formality.

Till September this year South Goa police have booked 34 cases of rioting, 11 cases of forming unlawful assembly, 94 cases of hurt, 18 cases of kidnapping, 17 cases of chain snatching, 36 cases of house breaking thefts during night and 54 other theft cases.

In areas like Gogol and Rumdamol housing board, near St Jose de Areal  muscle power activities is raising its ugly head and it is difficult for residents  to visit  these areas during night time.    

Cases of theft, burglary, sex trade, drug abuse, kidnapping, broad day light thefts, fights and sexual crimes involving migrant workers have been reported especially from Salcete villages.

With rapid expansion of villages of Salcete taluka the growing migrant activities has raised its head and so also cases of crime due to lack of police or limited police resources, preventive measures, and night vigil etc said a senior citizen. Such migrants move in the city during night time.

Investigations has revealed that organised criminal behaviour of these migrants, illicit trafficking and trade has added  to the problems  and it is revealed that  migrants are most likely to be the victims of crime committed by migrants, however  the increase in the number of crimes is a big concern for the resident population  in absence of proper  night patrolling.

Migrants are seen moving in gangs in the coastal belt as well as in the town and it is alleged that police hardly check them. Citizens also allege that day time patrolling is conducted only in selected places that too on busy roads. Police jeep is either parked  close to a tender coconut vendor  or by the side of a fruit seller  and  at such places  where there is traffic congestion  for hours  neglecting  areas which are lonely  in Salcete where strict police watch is required.

Migrant workers – mainly from Karnataka, Bengal, Orissa, Assam, UP, Jharkhand and Manipur – are seen employed in under construction sites in Salcete. In the past they were mostly found in construction and plantation sectors but now almost every restaurant, workshop and petrol pump the migrant workers are seen.

The number of migrant workers has gone up substantially in the past ten years in Salcete due to job opportunities opening up for them. It is observed that over 70 per cent of the migrants are single males, and most of them are young and involved in violent crimes in Salcete which needs urgent attention.

People allege that the influx of economically  weaker migrants hailing from other states who come as labourers at various  development projects in South Goa  have spread  in Salcete which needs police vigil as there are possibilities of hard core criminals taking shelter in hutments. 

The survey conducted reveals that in most of these cases migrants were involved. The increasing migrants inhabiting the sub-urban areas of Salcete has largely contributed to the increase in offences in contradiction to the police claim of decline in crime.

However police claim that checking of strangers, tenant and servant verification by sending their details to the head office in Margao and getting verification done is helping them to a large extent in detecting cases and the crime has come down.

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