By Dr Olav Albuquerque

GOA seems to have joined the national mainstream with a man murdering his son and daughter at Candolim and then hanging himself from a tree behind his house, according to the police. Before Goa joined the national mainstream on December 19, 1961 murder and rape were rare and unforgettable events. But with the meshing of cultures, values and identities with the rest of the country, murder and rape has become passe.
In a separate incident, a murder convict who was on the run for the last 15 years after escaping from jail after a team from the Goa crime branch identified and arrested him at Purba Medinipur district in West Bengal.
Although the police told the media that the convict had changed his date of birth to coincide with the date of his escape from prison and was found working at a hotel in Goa, how he did so is not clear. It is impossible to change one’s birth certificate which is issued by the local panchayat or the municipal corporation if you are born in towns like Panjim, Margao, Mapusa or Ponda.
The police said the man, identified as Jackson Dadel, a resident of Bhatlem, was among the two convicts arrested for the murder of Godwin DSilva, a resident of Altinho at Caranzalem on April 23, 2005.

A CASE under IPC sections 449 (house trespass in order to commit a crime) 302, (murder) and 34 (common intention) was registered at the Panaji police station and both these convicts were arrested and sent to judicial custody in Margao. Judicial custody means jail where the police cannot torture a criminal to get him to divulge his antecedents.
On September 16, 2007 both Jackson Dadel and his accomplice identified as Rudolph Gomes, were convicted by Additional Sessions Court, Panaji for stabbing to death Godwin DSilva. The motive is not clear.
Before the sentence could be awarded, both Jackson Dadel and Rudolph Gomes, along with 12 other accused broke open the jail gates of the Margao jail, assaulted the jail guards, confined them in the lock-up, and escaped. The fact that the Goa Police have cracked the case will portray them in a positive light. But this is far from the truth.
When you visit a police station for a crime involving property, the first thing a head constable will do is to convince you it is a civil dispute. Head constables are generally SSC passed while a few of them may be graduates. The intricacies of the law are a mystery to them. But they do know they must prevent the registration of a cognizable offence because that will entail a lot of headaches for their colleagues and superiors.

NOW if you are aggrieved by the obstinacy of the head constable, or perhaps a police sub-inspector, you can in theory at least, approach the police inspector (PI) holding charge of the police station. But these PIs have their hands full and if you google some of their names, the controversies which they are embroiled in are revealing.
Some of them have been accused of coming drunk to work, assaulting a complainant, or refusing to register a complaint by telling the hapless complainant to “Get out. Do what you want!” The law states the complainant can make a written complaint to the superintendent of police who holds charge of the district. But these SPs as they are called are never available because they are “in a meeting.” When you phone them on their official mobile, they never pick up the calls.
There are two districts in Goa, north and south. Both are headed by IPS officers who are on deputation from the AGMUT cadre. The expanded form of AGMUT stands for Assam, Goa, Manipal, and Union Territories. This is not a much sought-after cadre. Frequently, a husband-and-wife who have both qualified in the IPS or IAS are posted in Goa. Even before completing their tenure, they may seek to revert to Delhi and lobby for more comfortable postings.
The other route where a police officer can become an SP is promotion from the lower ranks. He starts as a police sub-inspector (PSI) and is promoted after a decade or more as a police inspector where he does favours for the local MLAs and ministers who can indirectly, influence their annual confidential reports. This depends on which political party is in power.
This writer himself had the experience of a deputy SP registering a false FIR on the instruction of a minister who visited the Porvorim police station. Despite several complaints against this deputy SP, he has now been promoted as an SP where he is in-charge of VIP security.

SO, the Goa Police like their counterparts in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere are notorious for being grossly negligent, with a few being openly corrupt. When they deal with criminals, they imbibe the cunning and stealth of the criminal. So, whether he is a police inspector or a lowly head constable, you need to handle them with circumspection.
Take the case of Scarlett Keeling, the British teenager who was raped and murdered. The distraught mother had to fight an unending battle to secure justice, but for the presiding officer of the Children’s Court, Vandana Tendulkar. The case was initially messed up by the police who refused to register a case of murder and initially recorded it as just an accidental death case. The police officer who did this was later promoted as PI and even reached the rank of deputy SP. The presiding officer of the Children’s Court, Vandana Tendulkar, acquitted both Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho of the charges of raping and murdering the teenager.
The mother, Fiona McKeown, alleged a former deputy chief minister whose son was into drug smuggling had an interest in the case. Whether true or not, it is a fact that some of our ministers are directly involved in protecting criminals who do their dirty work, including murder. An alleged drug-dealer, Shailesh Shetty, who was arrested under the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, was again arrested for planning the murder of an RTI activist, Vilas Mether in Salvador do Mundo.
So, whether you accept it or not — Goa has become a haven for drug dealers and Mafiosi who will not hesitate to kill those who are inconvenient to them. While the Goa Police look on unperturbed.

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