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Now, local cops must explain if special units unearth illegal activity

BY AMRESH PARAB | NT

PANAJI: Police inspectors including Sub Divisional Police Officers (SDPOs) will now be held accountable if the specialised police units unearth any illegal trade in the jurisdiction of police stations.The decision comes in the wake of specialised units of the Goa police such as Crime Branch and Anti-Narcotic Cell (ANC) busting more cases pertaining to prostitution, drugs and gambling in comparison to the local police stations.

Incidentally, an annual report by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) ARZ, on the issue of human trafficking finds action from the local police wanting.

When contacted, Director General of Police (DGP) T N Mohan said that the number of cases unearthed by specialised police units is an indication that the local police lack in action and in such instances, departmental inquiry will be initiated against the concerned police officers.

“Looking at the number of cases unearthed in police station jurisdiction by the specialised police units, I feel that action from the local police is inadequate. There could be two reasons, either there is lack of intelligence or due to negligence,” said Mohan adding that, “departmental inquiry will be initiated against the police inspector of the police station including the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP), who is the Sub Divisional Police Officer, DySP.”

According to information, previously there was no practice in Goa wherein the local police were held accountable if a specialised team raided or uncovered an illegal activity in the jurisdiction of a police station. Mohan said that the specialised police units have jurisdiction of the entire state and work with other states in detecting serious crime and busting organised crime rackets.

“Action from the specialised police units does not take away the responsibility of the local police to prevent or detect any illegal activity. It is part of their (local police) duty,” Mohan said.

According to the data available, during 2014, the ANC had booked 29 cases, arrested 32 accused and seized drugs worth around Rs 2.85 crore whereas police stations in North Goa arrested 22 accused in 21 cases and seized drugs worth Rs 9.96 lakh. South Goa police booked 4 cases wherein 4 accused were arrested and drugs worth Rs 2.50 lakh was seized.

Sources also said that the Crime Branch had seized cash of around Rs 10 lakh in 24 different cases under the Gambling Act wherein over 100 accused were arrested in 2014. “Though the cases under Gambling Act are on par with the local police, the amount seized and the number of accused arrested by Crime Branch is much more,” said a source.

According to recent data released by NGO ARZ, during 2014, Goa police had rescued 86 victims in connection with human trafficking cases. Majority of the cases, according to information, were handled by the Crime Branch rescuing 51 girls while the remaining rescue operations were undertaken by the women’s police station, which rescued 8 girls. The number of girls rescued by various police station personnel was Margao (8), Panaji (6), Colva (3), Calangute (4) and Porvorim (6).

“Most of the girls rescued are by the Crime Branch. There have not been many rescue efforts by the local police stations. This shows that the local police intelligence system is not good or they are not inclined to rescue the girls,” claimed the report released by the NGO.

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