After the gang rape of a 20-year-old last year at the beach, the Betalbatim gram sabha’s promise to illuminate the beach and install CCTV cameras as well police patrolling, seem to have fallen short. As a result, the beach is still unsafe for visitors and unsuspecting locals. Apparently, the police have not made any contributory effort towards this purpose.
Known as a ‘lover’s beach’, the pristine Betalbatim beach has been in the news for a spate gruesome rapes and murders as well. Last year a young 20-year old girl was brutally raped by three men from Madhya Pradesh and then blackmailed by them. In another incident
Although a year has elapsed since the Betalbatim gram sabha adopted resolution to make the beach safer, after the gruesome rape of a 20-year old tourist by three men from Madhya Pradesh. In January 2018, the body of a 53-year old local brutally murdered was found on the beach.
Despite these and several other incidents, according to a Times of India, report the gram sabha’s resolution almost a year ago to install CCTV cameras and three gates at the main entrance along with warning signs, beach electrification and clearing of undergrowth and bushes police patrolling have just remained a promise on paper.
Speaking to the Times of Indi, police sources informed that, “So far, only the warning boards and two high mast lamps have been erected. Police patrolling takes place erratically and the last one was done after the suicide bombing of the Sri Lanka churches.”
Clarifying to the Times of India, Sarpanch Constancio Miranda said that two high mast lamps were commissioned at two sites in December last and January this year. “The work is progressing but due to the model code of conduct it was delayed.” However, he is following up with the Goa Tourism Development Corporation in this matter.
Another hurdle before the panchayat, he states is that the property where the gang-rape occurred is privately owned and the landlords are yet to give an NoC.
After the rape, the Betalbatim panchayat took a resolution to illuminate the beach stretch and install CCTV cameras. Subsequently, Nuvem MLA Wilfred D’sa, Zilla panchayat member Nelly Rodrigues, sarpanch Constancio Miranda, some tourism officials and villagers submitted a memorandum to the then South Goa collector Anjali Sherawat demanding beach illumination, cleaning of undergrowth and bushes, installation of CCTV cameras, erecting gates at the three main entrances to the beach and police patrolling.
Unfortunately, to date, no one has done anything to implement the plans.
To recap, on the night of May 24, 2018, at Sunset Beach, a young 20-year old girl was raped by accused Ram Bariya (19), Sanjeev Pal (23) and Ishwar Makwana (27) all from Indore, Madhya Pradesh. They assaulted the victim’s boyfriend and forced the couple to strip naked to take pictures with the intention of blackmailing them.
Also instead of justice being disposed of quickly, it has been lagging for varied reasons. Although the accused in the rape case were nabbed and jailed under IPC, the main culprit Ishwar Makwana (a history-sheeter) escaped from police custody in December 2018 while on a hospital visit and is yet to be traced. Another accused Ram Bariya was declared a minor and his case now in the children’s court, while the third’s trial is being held in the sessions court in Margao.
Earlier in the month of January 2018, another 53-year old local man was found murdered on the beach.
SOURCE: TIMES OF INDIA
IMAGE SOURCE: KIMS HOLIDAY HOMES