Goa Ponda News

Goa: MP techie’s body surfaces after 18 days of drowning
Times of India | 3 days ago | |
Times of India
3 days ago | |

PONDA: The body of Madhya Pradesh techie Arprit Shukla resurfaced after 18 days on Thursday. The 31-year-old software engineer from Bhopal had drowned in Dudhsagar river on September 5 after he slipped off the waterfalls. The body was stuck in the roots of a tree on the banks 7km from the falls. Collem PI Sanjay Dalvi said the victim’s brother who was in Goa to join the search operation has identified the body. It has been preserved at the GMC mortuary for an autopsy likely to be conducted on Friday. Shukla had visited Dudhsagar waterfalls on the evening of September 5 with his wife and some friends. He was suspected to have fallen into the stream in an attempt to get a picture of the waterfalls and went missing. A search operation was launched immediately after.

Goa: MP techie’s body surfaces after 18 days of drowning
  • MP techie’s body surfaces after 18 days of drowning
  • Times of India

    Ponda: The body of Madhya Pradesh techie Arprit Shukla resurfaced after 18 days on Thursday. The 31-year-old software engineer from Bhopal had drowned in Dudhsagar river on September 5 after he slipped off the waterfalls. The body was stuck in the roots of a tree on the banks 7km from the falls.Collem PI Sanjay Dalvi said the victim’s brother who was in Goa to join the search operation has identified the body. It has been preserved at the GMC mortuary for an autopsy likely to be conducted on Friday.Shukla had visited Dudhsagar waterfalls on the evening of September 5 with his wife and some friends. He was suspected to have fallen into the stream in an attempt to get a picture of the waterfalls and went missing. A search operation was launched immediately after.

Casual and cavalier approach by cops can’t be entertained: Ponda court
Times of India | 3 days ago | |
Times of India
3 days ago | |

PANAJI: A Ponda court has pulled up the police for seeking condonation in delay in filing charges and citing excuses of Covid-19 and bandobast duties. "Several stereotype applications for condoning the delay are filed by the investigating officers assigning similar reasons of being deployed on bandobast duties and other duties," stated Judicial Magistrate First Class, Ponda, Audi Shanoor. "I find that police officers have to discharge their duties with utmost diligence and such casual and cavalier approach cannot be entertained," the court added. In the latest case, the offence of rash driving took place on April 23, 2019, and the PI filed an application seeking condonation in delay in filing the chargesheet, stating that the head constable who is now a PSI was deployed for bandobast duty and Covid-19 duty. The delay, if calculated, is for over one year, the court found. "Perusal of the chargesheet shows that the investigation was completed in 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic started in March 2020 and the investigating officer had sufficient time to file the chargesheet but he has failed to do so," the court stated. The investigating officer has not sufficiently explained the delay of such a long period and stated that the application has been filed "in an utmost casual and cavalier manner without assigning any proper justification for the delay caused and without mentioning the exact number of days of delay caused in filing the chargesheet", the court stated. It also pointed out that the officer failed to remain present, "which shows his lack of diligence to proceed with the matter". The investigating officer lodged an FIR against a 22-year-old barber who lost three fingers in an accident case. The court found that sufficient cause was not shown by the investigating officer to condone the delay in filing the chargesheet. As per Section 468 of the CrPC, the chargesheet had to be filed within a year of the offence and in the present case it had to be filed by April 22, 2020, but the application before the court seeking condonation in delay was dated December 13, 2021. Rash driving under Section 279 of IPC provides for simple imprisonment for a term extending up to six months or a fine which may extend to Rs 1,000, or both. The court dismissed the police application.

Casual and cavalier approach by cops can’t be entertained: Ponda court
PFI leader’s house raided, docus, digital devices seized
Times of India | 4 days ago | |
Times of India
4 days ago | |

Panaji: The National Investigation Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and police forces conducted a search at the residence of Popular Front of India (PFI) leader, Anis Ahmed Mossa, at Baina, Vasco, on Thursday. Around 20 officers were involved in the search operation.During the search, incriminating documents, cash, and a large number of digital devices were seized.The search started at 3am and concluded around 8pm. The central committee member, who is a resident of Bengaluru, used to frequently visit Goa. Musa left the state over 15 years ago and is one among the top PFI leaders. Goa police said that NIA and ED officials have come from Mumbai to conduct a search. PFI has its office in Margao and is also active in Ponda.NIA had taken the help of Goa police to conduct the search and a huge force of Goa police personnel were kept on standby to act in case of any law and order situation during the search.When asked if Goa police will monitor the activities of PFI in the state, director general of police (DGP) Jaspal Singh told TOI that the department’s special branch always keeps a watch on all organisations.Chief minister Pramod Sawant had said that during the time of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) agitation, PFI were active in Goa trying to create communal disturbance. Sawant had said that earlier, on three occasions, PFI had attempted to disturb communal harmony in the state. He had said that he had received a police report on the activities of the PFI and the attempts to disturb communal harmony.Sawant had also said that he will write to the Union government seeking a ban on the PFI in the country.

PFI leader’s house raided, docus, digital devices seized
Goa: Cops arrest 4 accused in Keri SBI theft case
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

BICHOLIM: In a joint operation, Bicholim, Valpoi and Ponda police, along with staff of Panaji police station, arrested four persons in connection with the abduction of Keri-Sattari State Bank of India branch manager and stealing Rs 10 lakh cash and six pouches containing gold ornaments. Those arrested are Jitendrakumar Sharma, 30, and Raju Kumar Das, 24, both residents of Goa Velha and natives of Bihar, 32-year-old Sahil Irshad Khan, a resident of Keri-Sattari, and Kiran Ghorpade, 23, a resident of Goa Velha and native of Bijapur. The first three accused were arrested on Friday while the fourth was arrested on Saturday at Pune. The fifth accused in the case is still absconding. Police have registered an offense under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and that of the Arms Act. So far, police have recovered gold weighing 1.1kg amounting to Rs 50 lakh and Rs 5.5 lakh cash. Apart from these, a knife and the car used to commit the crime have also been recovered .

Goa: Cops arrest 4 accused in Keri SBI theft case
  • Cops arrest 4 accused in Keri SBI theft case
  • Times of India

    Bicholim: In a joint operation, Bicholim, Valpoi and Ponda police, along with staff of Panaji police station, arrested four persons in connection with the abduction of Keri-Sattari State Bank of India branch manager and stealing Rs 10 lakh cash and six pouches containing gold ornaments.Those arrested are Jitendrakumar Sharma, 30, and Raju Kumar Das, 24, both residents of Goa Velha and natives of Bihar, 32-year-old Sahil Irshad Khan, a resident of Keri-Sattari, and Kiran Ghorpade, 23, a resident of Goa Velha and native of Bijapur. The first three accused were arrested on Friday while the fourth was arrested on Saturday at Pune. The fifth accused in the case is still absconding. Police have registered an offense under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and that of the Arms Act.So far, police have recovered gold weighing 1.1kg amounting to Rs 50 lakh and Rs 5.5 lakh cash. Apart from these, a knife and the car used to commit the crime have also been recovered .

Held in Andhra Pradesh, 2 accused in Usgao ATM theft case brought to Goa
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

PONDA: Ponda police on Thursday nabbed two men from Bangladesh allegedly involved in the ATM robbery at Tisk-Usgao in Ponda on August 18. Gannavaram police from Andhra Pradesh's (AP) Krishna district had arrested them and a Ponda police team brought them to Goa on Thursday. While AP police have arrested two, four others are still at large. Both accused have been remanded in five-day police custody by a Ponda court. Ponda DySP C L Patil said that the accused had told AP police that they had purchased gold of Rs 5 lakh with the money robbed from the ATM at Usgao. The gold is presently in the custody of AP police. The robbers had decamped with over Rs 13 lakh from the bank ATM machine. AP police said that the accused, Jahangir Islam, 32, and Shaikh Nadeem Khan, 52, both natives of Bangladesh, had had been living in Hubballi, Karnataka. "When we verified the CCTV footage from a Hubballi hotel, it was confirmed that they were the same men involved in the Usgao ATM robbery," Patil said. A gang of six masked robbers had detached two ATMs of two different bank kiosks at Tisk-Usgao and decamped with them early August 18. Both the ATMs were later found abandoned at Piliyem-Dharbandora. The thieves could, however, rob the money from only one of the two ATMs. Another similar robbery attempt was made in Gannavaram. However, a police constable had foiled the robbery bid. The gang had even attacked the constable. The AP police succeeded in nabbing two of the six accused.

Held in Andhra Pradesh, 2 accused in Usgao ATM theft case brought to Goa
  • Held in AP, 2 accused in Usgao ATM theft case brought to Goa
  • Times of India

    Ponda: Ponda police on Thursday nabbed two men from Bangladesh allegedly involved in the ATM robbery at Tisk-Usgao in Ponda on August 18. Gannavaram police from Andhra Pradesh’s (AP) Krishna district had arrested them and a Ponda police team brought them to Goa on Thursday. While AP police have arrested two, four others are still at large. Both accused have been remanded in five-day police custody by a Ponda court.Ponda DySP C L Patil said that the accused had told AP police that they had purchased gold of Rs 5 lakh with the money robbed from the ATM at Usgao. The gold is presently in the custody of AP police. The robbers had decamped with over Rs 13 lakh from the bank ATM machine.AP police said that the accused, Jahangir Islam, 32, and Shaikh Nadeem Khan, 52, both natives of Bangladesh, had had been living in Hubballi, Karnataka. “When we verified the CCTV footage from a Hubballi hotel, it was confirmed that they were the same men involved in the Usgao ATM robbery,” Patil said.A gang of six masked robbers had detached two ATMs of two different bank kiosks at Tisk-Usgao and decamped with them early August 18. Both the ATMs were later found abandoned at Piliyem-Dharbandora. The thieves could, however, rob the money from only one of the two ATMs.Another similar robbery attempt was made in Gannavaram. However, a police constable had foiled the robbery bid. The gang had even attacked the constable. The AP police succeeded in nabbing two of the six accused.

Goa: After eight years, Nirankal hills are alive with the colour of karvi
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

KERI: On the deep green hillsides of the Western Ghat forests at Nirankal, Ponda, specs of purple have begun to appear. This phenomenon is seen once every eight years — the blooming of the karvi flower, known botanically as strobilanthes callosa. In a week or two, the pink and white buds will be replaced by thick patches of purple, once the karvi is in full bloom. Found all along the Western Ghats, the strobilanthes callosa is a curious shrub, even for researchers. It flowers only once in its lifetime. Post-flowering, the plant is left laden with fruits which take a year to completely dry up. With the arrival of the next monsoon, the fruits fall to the ground, leaving behind seeds to germinate, for the next shrub, which will see a karvi blooming seven years later. “The shrub is unique as we see its mass flowering only after a period of eight years. In the past, the sticks of dried karvi shrub were used to build huts by locals and tribals, due to its elasticity. We will be able to enjoy karvi honey this year,” said Ramakant Gaonkar, 64, from Gothawada of Bethoda, Ponda. The karvi flower blooming results in its nectar being drawn for what is known by locals as karvi honey, which is more intense in colour and taste. It is when Gaonkar had gone to the forest to collect seasonal fruits and flowers for the matoli for Ganesh Chaturthi that he was surprised to see the karvi blooming. Karvi flowerThough the karvi had last bloomed along the Chorla Ghats, where the Goa-Karnataka-Maharashtra borders intersect, in 2016, within Goa’s borders, the flowering was seen last in September 2015. “Today, I got an opportunity to see karvi blooming after eight years. I had last witnessed it in September 2015 in Surla inside the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary,” said Datta Naik, a resident of Priol. At present, the hillsides at Nirankal have the dark stem of the karvi shrub heavily laden with large flower buds. Endemic to the Western Ghats, this particular species of karvi will be in full bloom by late September. There are other karvi species as well, which have a blooming cycle of up to twelve years. The present karvi blooms are expected to last till around early to mid-October. The karvi plant is usually found at a high altitude in the Western Ghats and is known to thrive where ample moisture is found in the soil. Research on the plant is still in its initial stages. While alive, the plant is known to be a habitat for Malabar pit vipers, bamboo pit vipers, green vine snakes among other snakes. Its leaves serve as food for grasshoppers and the Indian bison, and once dried up, ticks nest in hordes on the plants.

Goa: After eight years, Nirankal hills are alive with the colour of karvi
Students of Ponda school turn old clothes into bags, hand over to shops in town
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

PANAJI: Keen on reducing the use of plastic bags in their town, students of GVM's Utkarsh Vidyamandir, Ponda, came up with a novel idea. Middle and high school students brought in old t-shirts, dupattas and other good quality, unused cloth lying around their homes to school, and with a little help from their art and craft teacher, sewed them into sturdy bags, which they then distributed to shopkeepers in Ponda town. The school specially procured a sewing machine for the project, which art and craft teacher Xeersha Namshikar taught them how to use. And as part of their socially useful productive work (SUPW) subject, the youngsters were only too happy to try their hand at it. "The students stitched close to 200 cloth bags themselves, with little guidance. They would wait for their turn on the machine and would put up a fight if someone broke the queue. Some students were so impressed with the bags they had stitched that they wanted to take them home," Namshikar said. Determined to make it a fruitful learning experience, Namshikar painstakingly taught the students all they needed to know about sewing . When the students distributed the bags to shopkeepers in Ponda, they told them to ditch plastic bags and to instead hand these out to customers who showed up without their own shopping bags. "People don't bother to carry their own shopping bags and shopkeepers still freely give them polythene bags. I feel people should keep extra bags in their vehicles at least," said Class IX student Durva Bellekar. "Plastic is harmful to the environment and that's the reason we made the cloth bags and distributed them. I was happy to be make something useful out of stuff lying around the house and give back to society, and hopefully, lend a hand in reducing plastic pollution." School administrator Srabonee Thakar said she initiated the project to make the students socially aware and conscious about pollution caused by plastic, especially considering that the Goa government has banned certain types of the material. "Our education is not just restricted to the classroom but about contributing positively to society. These are lessons and values that will last them a lifetime," Thakar said.

Students of Ponda school turn old clothes into bags, hand over to shops in town
Adpai’s kutumb Ganeshas keep date with traditions
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

Ponda: In keeping with their unique tradition of bidding lord Ganesh a farewell with a tableaux procession, the villagers of Adpai in Ponda taluka concluded the five-day festivities of Ganesh Chaturthi on a grand note.The village came alive to the sounds of devotional songs on Sunday evening as the 17 families (‘kutumbs’) each took their idols for immersion in intricately designed tableaux depicting themes right from mythology to social issues.This seventeen ‘kutumbs include the Kurdikars, Khandeparkars, Borkars, Mahalaxmi Bandodkars, Pokles, Soshebhatkars, Khumne Bhatkars, Mardolkars, Shivamba Lotlikars, Khandekars, Khalche Mules, Madhle Mules, Varche Mules, Mangnis, Tari Lotlikars, Taris and Vastas.The ‘kutumb’ or joint family celebrations sees clan members from all over congregating at their ancestral home for five days, said Prashant Naik, a youth from the Sosebhatkar ‘kutumb’.The tableau that grabbed eyeballs this year was the one made by the Varche Mule family of a farmer and soldier in a depiction of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kissan’.The Borkar’s tableau was the Ashoka’s Lion Capital.Union minister Shripad Naik, a native of Adpai village, belongs to the Soshebhatkar family. Their tableau portrayed Adiyogi of Coimbatore. Members of this ‘kutumb’ were clad in the traditional attire of Coimbatore — shirt and lungi for men and a white saree for women. “Adiyogi a form of lord Shankar and there is a 100ft statue at Coimbatore,” Naik said.While the fifth day of festivities is marked by the tableaux procession, the third day sees Adpaikars stage cultural-themed skits in their homes. This too, attracts people from across the state.

Adpai’s kutumb Ganeshas keep date with traditions
Passing on ethnobotanical wealth through matoli
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

Keri: Ganesh Chaturthi is characterised by the tradition of ‘matoli’. Varied seasonal fruits and flowers, mostly wild, are tied onto this wooden frame, through which villagers display their knowledge of the seasonal floral wealth found in nature around them.“Today, with development in the fields of science and medicine systems like allopathy, homeopathy, etc, it helps people get rid of various ailments. But in the past, they heavily relied on their ethnobotanical heritage and hence our ancestors considered it important to transmit this traditional wisdom through the matoli,” said 56-year-old tribal Satyavati Karmalekar from Karmale, Ponda.Since 2005, the government has been organising the All Goa Matoli Competition and this has helped in revival of the folk tradition. “The competition brought to the notice of educated Goans this system of informally handing over knowledge of ethnobotany and its potentiality and utility to future geneations,” said Govind Shirodkar, a retired officer of the art and culture department.Datta Naik from Gauthan-Priol, Ponda, who takes part in the matoli competition, said that he and his family members participate wholeheartedly in decorating the matoli as it has helped them to connect with nature. “We collect a variety of floral elements from the forests of Western Ghats and neighbouring areas. At my house, I have a small nursery where I develop the saplings and propagate threatened species of plants,” he said.Krishnanath Naik, 75, from Priol, told TOI, said, “During our childhood, herbs, shoots, shrubs, medicinal plants required for day-to-day uses were available in the nearby forests, but now it has become cumbersome to search and collect many of these plants, due to increasing deforestation.”“Every year along with decorating the matoli, I also put up signboards and photos to help to transmit ethnobotanical knowledge,” said Shrikant Satarkar from Curti-Ponda.

Passing on ethnobotanical wealth through matoli
High turbidity in Khandepar river, WRD says water safe
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

Ponda: With Ganesh festivities already begun, the highly turbid water from the Khandepar river in Ponda for the last three days has created panic among residents. However, the water resources department (WRD) has claimed that it is a natural phenomenon and the water turbidity would settle down soon.The Opa water works had recorded turbidity at 174 NTU on Monday and it was going down. An official at Opa water works said that this is the second time this season that the plant has recorded high water turbidity. Last time, the plant had recorded 210 NTU on August 2. Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU) is used to measure the lack of clarity of water. Water containing 1mg of finely divided silica per litre has a turbidity of 1 NTU and up to 50 NTU is considered normal.Residents were surprised to see muddy water despite the dry spell in Goa for the last couple of days. However, WRD said that the rain in catchment areas could have been the reason.“Catchment areas of the Khandepar are spread across the state borders, up to Karnataka. Rain in these areas could even change the colour of the river water. With the incessant rain in these areas, soaked soil near the river basin slides and the run-off adds to the river water turning it muddy,”WRD canal officer Ankush Gaonker told TOI. Nivruti Parsekar, executive engineer who oversees the supply of potable water to Ponda and Tiswadi, said that though there was a rise in turbidity, water is safe for consumption. “Water is released only after filtration at the Opa plant,” he said. Sometimes consumers get reddish water because of some fine particles that remain even after filtration, but it’s not harmful, Parsekar added.

High turbidity in Khandepar river, WRD says water safe
Marcel tones down Ganesh idol making for third year in row
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

Ponda: Marcel, a small temple town in Ponda taluka that once celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi with great revelry and pomp and had pioneered the creativity of local artists in showcasing eco-friendly Ganesha idols, has been going low-key with celebrations for the third year in a row. Village artists have refrained from creating unique idols. Some claim it is due to uncertainty whether people would visit them in the wake of the ongoing pandemic. Some artists also pointed out that it was not viable due to rising costs in making the idols.Except Sai Kala Mandal at Tariwada Marcel, no one has taken up any creative idol this year. The Sai Kala Mandal has created a 4-feet high idol of Moreshwar Ganesh – one among the Ashta Vinayakas, by using saffron-coloured wool. Samir Tari along with Namdev Tari have been instrumental in creating this idol. However, this idol would be open for the public only for seven days. Marcel had emerged as a focal point of creativity with numerous local artists using eco-friendly and recycled material to create Ganesha idols. Most of these artists are untrained and amateurs; their enthusiasm was what nurtured the creativity, allowing them to depict the beloved elephant-headed God in various expressions. Every year, Ganesh Chaturthi provided an ideal opportunity for the artists to showcase their artistic talents.However, many of them like Girish Navelkar, another artist from the village famous for his talent, said that that they have refrained from doing the idols due to the ongoing pandemic. Kirtikumar Prabhu, a renowned artist from the village, has also been creating Ganesha idols through various locally available material such as fallen tree trunks, corrugated boxes, etc. He expressed his apprehension whether he would be able to create such idols next year. “To make such creative idols you need a huge amount (of money and material) and since there is a gap of two years, we are unsure whether we would be able to muster the amount next year,” he said.

Marcel tones down Ganesh idol making for third year in row
Congress holds ‘Mehangai Par Charcha’ at Panaji market
Times of India | 4 weeks ago | |
Times of India
4 weeks ago | |

PANAJI: Congress gathered its functionaries at the Panaji municipal market on Sunday to hold an awareness programme called ‘Mehangai Par Charcha’ as part of a nationwide protest against price rise. Party workers led by state Mahila Congress president Beena Naik said that rising inflation has made it difficult for the common man to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi due to the higher cost of essential food items. Congress blamed the BJP government, both at the Centre and state, for the surge in food prices and also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi about his promise about ‘Ache Din’. A handful of Congress workers along with two MLAs — Carlos Ferreira and Rudolfo Fernandes — joined the protest in the state capital which comes after similar protests in Mapusa, Margao, Ponda and other towns. “Inflation appears to be increasing day by day and it hurts all families. The common man is waiting for ‘acche din’ but it is a mirage. There was demonetisation that killed industry and now price rise is destroying the common man,” said Ferreira. Naik said that the BJP’s policies on inflation and taxation are encouraging poor people to return to fire wood as fuel. “When the UPA was in power, prices were around half of what they are today. Oil was at Rs 60 and today it is close to Rs 200. LPG gas was at Rs 404 per cylinder and now it is more than Rs 1,000,” said Naik.

Congress holds ‘Mehangai Par Charcha’ at Panaji market