Times of India | 1 month ago | 21-02-2023 | 04:38 am
Margao: Nearly 11 years after the crime, the Supreme Court has dismissed appeals of the two accused sentenced to life imprisonment for kidnapping an 11-year-old child from Fatorda for a Rs 20-lakh ransom.On September 19, 2011, the South Goa police rescued the minor boy after intercepting the vehicle in which he was being held hostage at Curti, Ponda.Rupesh alias Uday Falkar from Margao and Duliano alias Vital Fernandes were arrested, and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment by the sessions court. The conviction was upheld by the high court. After hearing the arguments filed by the applicants against their conviction under Section 364 A (kidnapping for ransom) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the court in its judgement expressed its inability to bring the case under Section 363 (kidnapping from lawful guardianship) of the IPC as contended in the appeal. While an offence under Section 364 A attracts death punishment or life imprisonment, that under Section 363 is punishable with imprisonment for up to seven years. Both the accused were employed as drivers by the child’s father.“On the conspectus of the testimony analysed, we are really not able to bring the case under Section 363 of IPC, though we may have some consideration for the age of the appellants and this being a sole incident, it is not really within the domain of this court to go contrary to the legislative domain which prescribes the punishment for such an offence, and we do take note of the fact that the accused being a driver, man of trust for the family, used to be so utilised, breached the trust while kidnapping a child of 11 years of age with special needs,” the court said in its judgement by justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay Oka. The boy was kidnapped by the accused while he was returning home from school, and hours later, his businessman father received a call demanding a ransom of Rs 20 lakh for the safe release of the child. Acting swiftly on the father’s complaint, the South Goa police constituted four special teams in plainclothes and proceeded in private cars carrying along with them the ransom amount to track down the kidnappers. The idea was to secure the safe release of the child after paying the ransom.However, the kidnappers kept calling the father frequently, changing the location where they could be contacted to pay the ransom. However, a police team led by then Margao PI Santosh Dessai intercepted the car near Curti. The police had to fire seven rounds to stop the car and overpower the kidnappers. The boy was rescued without being hurt.While granting the accused four weeks’ time to surrender, the court said that they can seek remission on completion of the minimum sentence as per norms.
MARGAO: Amidst the Carnival revelry at Margao on Sunday, one tableau stood out.Even as this tableau produced by the state’s agriculture department grabbed eyeballs on account of its novel theme, the senior-level agriculture officers who accompanied the float, dancing down the parade route, drew loud cheers and applause. Leading from the front was the department’s director, Nevil Alphonso, attired in Carnival costume. He held a placard proclaiming the nutritional value of millets. “Eat nachnea bhakri (millet pancakes) to stay fit,” the placard read, and the message at once seemed to have found resonance among the spectators.The government of India has decided to celebrate 2023 as the International Year of Millets in order to popularise the superfood. Centred around the theme ‘Grow Millets, Eat Millets, Stay Healthy’, the float presented by the agriculture department had 45 officers participating in the Panaji and Margao Carnival parade.The tableau urged farmers to grow millets like ragi (nachani) and proso millet (vari) and to cash in on their nutritive value-added products like amil, tizen, ladoos, bhakri etc.“The float was aimed at conveying the message through creatively designed images, foot-tapping music, meaningful lyrics, well-choreographed steps, and catchy taglines on placards. This was an out-of-the-box idea for reaching out to farmers, and I am glad the initiative was widely appreciated,” Alphonso said.It was for the first time that the agriculture department participated in the float parade. The float was presented by its extension wing, State Agriculture Management and Extension Training Institute.“We plan to hold several programmes throughout the year with the view to promoting millets,” Alphonso said.
MARGAO: Health officer of urban health centre, Margao, has red-flagged a potential health hazard in the seepage of water through the subway at Comba, Margao.In a letter addressed to the deputy collector (DRO), South Goa, the health officer said that a site inspection of the Comba subway has revealed that the stagnation of water is a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes. “Water constantly seeps/leaks into the subway from both sides of the road and gets stagnated on the stretch ,” the letter read. Stating further that the source of seepage couldn’t be identified, the health officer requested the deputy collector to depute an expert technical team to troubleshoot the problem. Executive engineer, PWD (sewerage), Joaquim Fernandes, said that they have succeeded in tracing the source of the leakage to subsoil water drainage and that it has now been plugged. “There was a subsoil leakage in the subway (probably on account of the spring water finding its way through the subway). Last week we noticed traces of sewage seeping through the subway. The leakage has now been plugged. What remains now is the dried up stagnated water,” Fernandes told TOI.The waterlogged subway has turned out to be a nuisance for the road users, including the pedestrians, for the last several weeks, owing to the consistent flow of water emanating a foul smell. While water logging during monsoons was understandable, what caused to raise eyebrows among the public was the stagnation of water even during the dry season. What’s worse was that the problem lay unidentified for long .Margao MLA Digambar Kamat had inspected the subway last month and issued directions to the PWD to locate the source of seepage and plug it on an urgent basis.
PANAJI: CM Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said that drunken driving and indiscipline on roads are some of the reasons for the increase in accidents. He added that the Goa police traffic cell, transport department and PWD are holding meetings and will chalk out a plan to reduce accidents.Sawant pointed out that the vehicle population has increased compared to the state population. "There are three reasons for the increase in accidents. These include people not following rules, drunken driving, rash and negligence driving among others," he said. The chief minister added that people should cooperate with the authorities, and this will help reduce the frequency of road accidents.In 2020, the vehicle population was 14.5 lakh vehicles, in 2021, it was 14.9 lakh and in 2022 it climbed to 15.4 lakh, but the infrastructure more or less stayed the same. Police said that looking at 2020-21 and 2021-2022, there has been a 3% increase in vehicle population, but the infrastructure hasn't changed much.It has been found that two-thirds of the people who died in road accidents in 2022 were linked to two-wheelers. The state witnessed an almost 9% rise in road accidents during the year.In 2022, 3,011 road accidents were reported, of which 253 were fatal, wherein 271 succumbed to injuries. A total number of 181 persons on two-wheelers died in accidents while 51 pedestrians lost their lives.In 2021, 2,849 accidents were reported, of which 218 were fatal. Almost 226 people lost their lives. A total number of 152 persons on two-wheelers died while 36 pedestrians were killed.The highest number of accidents in North Goa was reported in the jurisdiction of Panaji, Mapusa and Porvorim police stations areas. In South Goa, the highest number of accidents were reported in Ponda, Verna and Vasco police station areas.State witnessed 9% rise in road accidents in 2022In 2020, the vehicle population was 14.5 lakh vehicles, in 2021, it was 14.9 lakh and in 2022 it climbed to 15.4 lakh, but the infrastructure more or less stayed the same. Police said that looking at 2020-21 and 2021-2022, there has been a 3% increase in vehicle population, but the infrastructure hasn't changed much.It has been found that two-thirds of the people who died in road accidents in 2022 were linked to two-wheelers. The state witnessed an almost 9% rise in road accidents during the year.In 2022, 3,011 road accidents were reported, of which 253 were fatal, wherein 271 succumbed to injuries. A total number of 181 persons on two-wheelers died in accidents while 51 pedestrians lost their lives.In 2021, 2,849 accidents were reported, of which 218 were fatal. Almost 226 people lost their lives. A total number of 152 persons on two-wheelers died while 36 pedestrians were killed.The highest number of accidents in North Goa was reported in the jurisdiction of Panaji, Mapusa and Porvorim police stations areas. In South Goa, the highest number of accidents were reported in Ponda, Verna and Vasco police station areas.
Bengaluru based swimmers completely dominated the just concluded, 11th Goa Swimathon organised by Enduro Sports and powered by miniOrange held at the Betalbatim beach in South Goa.Bengaluru bagged 50 podium positions ( gold, silver and bronze) followed by Mumbai who bagged 22 podiums and hosts Goa finished third with 15 podium positions. A total of 700 swimmers took part in the event from across India.Sagar Badve (32), hearing and visually impaired swimmer from Aurangabad in Maharashtra won the longest, 11 km race clocking 3:38:03 hours. Sagar, who has represented India in the Special Olympics, has also successfully swum the Strait of Gibralter in 2010. He was felicitated by the President of India on World Disabled Persons’ Day on December 3, 2022.Over 50 physically challenged and disabled swimmers took part in the event this year, in which Aahil Sheikh, 13-year-old hearing impaired school boy from Bicholim, Goa covered himself with glory winning both the 250 metres and one km races in the sub-junior category.The event also saw, Sheron Figarado, professor at IIT-Goa and a physically challenged swimmer come third in the 250 metres race in the seniors category.Other highlights include the participation of Bengaluru podium winners, Gopal Rao (77) and Lalitha Vijayaraghavan (72) the oldest swimmers at the event, Mumbai wife-husband team of Valerie and Zarir Baliwalla, who both won their respective races, Former India international Nisha Millet of Bengaluru winning her 5.5 km race in 01:41:55 hrs and Nicole Pavri of Goa, who won her one km race, coming back after a serious, cervical spine fracture last year.
MARGAO: Goa Forward Party (GFP) president Vijai Sardesai, speaking at the Shiv Jayanti celebration at Gogol, Margao, on Sunday, took a dig at chief minister Pramod Sawant. He said Sawant should take a lesson or two from the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji, a ‘symbol of good governance’.“Chhatrapati Shivaji was known for giving justice to all, irrespective of caste or creed, and particularly to those from the lower strata of society,” Sardesai said. “The government should try to learn about good governance from Shivaji maharaj, as people aren’t getting justice here.” Sardesai added, “But for learning good governance, they needn’t go to Gujarat. The chief minister would do well by taking a leaf from Chhatrapati Shivaji’s book on how to fight to protect one’s (resources), particularly how to save the Mhadei; celebrating festivals isn’t enough.” Margao MLA Digambar Kamat, Navelim MLA Ulhas Tuyekar, Curtorim MLA Alexio Reginaldo Lourenco and others attended the event.