Times of India | 1 week ago | 14-05-2022 | 12:57 am
Panaji: The public spat between opposition leader Michael Lobo and town and country planning (TCP) minister Vishwajit Rane continued, with Rane telling the Calangute MLA to stop playing the victim card over the probe into the outline development plans (ODPs). Rane said that a “detailed investigation” will be launched into conversion of land when the Parra-Arpora-Nagoa and Calangute-Candolim ODPs were formulated, after which legal action will be initiated. A day earlier, Lobo had accused Rane and the BJP of hounding and targeting the opposition. “I would like to mention to the leader of the opposition that using public office for personal gains is not acceptable. He should refrain from playing the victim,” said Rane. Rane also said that all eco-sensitive land that was illegally converted will be reverted back to its original state. On Wednesday, Rane took to Twitter to announce that TCP’s scrutiny committee has identified irregularities in the ODPs of Parra-Arpora-Nagoa and Candolim-Calangute. Rane also said that a former NGPDA chairman violated norms by getting their own land converted. Lobo refuted Rane’s allegations and said that Rane is engaging in “vindictive politics” by suspending the ODPs and by pointing fingers at Lobo. “Let’s wait for the report to come out, survey by survey, the report will be shared with the citizens of the state of Goa,” said Rane. He said that Lobo’s attempts to shift the blame “authenticates the fact that there are a lot of wrongdoings” in Calangute-Candolim and the Parra-Nagoa-Parra.
Calangute: A day after Calangute residents demanded that a bar and restaurant be shut down for operating as a dance bar, the management, on Thursday, denied any illegal activities and stated that the premises have been taken on lease from former tourism minister Manohar ‘Babu’ Ajgaonkar. Management representative Dinesh Yadav told reporters that the entire controversy is a fallout of an assault wherein three sons of a woman security supervisor were assaulted by some locals. One of the sons has received serious head injuries following which police registered an offence of attempt to murder under Section 307 IPC against the locals. “It’s because an offence under Section 307 IPC has been registered that the locals are upset,” Yadav said. The assault had nothing to do with the bar or its customers, but was because of some quarrel between them, he said. Asked about permissions to operate the bar, Yadav said the Calangute panchayat had revoked the licence last year, but they have a stay order from the director of panchayats, so they can continue to operate. “We have been here for a long time and nobody made any complaints. It’s only because of this assault that we’re being unnecessarily dragged into a controversy,” he said. Locals who had gathered in front of the nightspot on Wednesday alleged that the place only has a bar and restaurant licence but operates as a dance bar.
Calangute: Shainaz Saudagar, a resident of Orda-Candolim and mother of the teenage boy, who was assaulted in a fight that broke out in Calangute, told the mediapersons that on the fateful night she was in the club on duty while her sons who had come to see her were waiting outside.“My teenage son is grievously injured and is in GMC hospital, while the main accused is absconding; I want justice for my son,” she said.Vivek Sharma, owner of the Devil’s Dance Bar said that there are CCTVs installed on the premises and there is no illegal activity going on. “The fight took place outside the premises and it can be verified through the CCTV footage,” he said.Speaking further, he said the property owner is someone else who has rented out the premises.When asked about the licence, he admitted saying that “we do not have the panchayat licence but we had moved the directorate of panchayat but it did not grant the licence.”Sarpanch Shawn Martins said that the panchayat of Calangute has revoked licences of 13 dance bars. “However the owners are well connected and through influence they operate the dance bars. When the new PI Laxi Amonkar came to Calangute all dance bars were shut but such establishments started operating again,” he said.Calangute PI Amonkar said that “the police have written to the authorities requesting a rethink on issuing licences to operate dance bars till 4 a.m. This is the main reason for illegal activities happening in Calangute.”When asked how dance bars started operating again when he had cracked down on them, PI Laxi said that “he landed in trouble because of it. The dance bar owners took me to court and also the human rights court.”North Goa DySP Karpe said that the police do take action against illegal activities and FIRs are filed.Regarding the demand for dance bars to be shut down, he said there is no law banning women from dancing in clubs. “There is a Supreme Court order allowing the dance bars to operate. Dance bars owners have licences to run their business,” he said.
Calangute: Calangute panchayat has installed 15 solar-powered streetlights at major junctions and tourist spots in Candolim. Panchayat members said this decision was taken as a safety measure against power failure during the monsoon and in bad weather conditions. “When there’s a blackout, there’s always the possibility of danger to tourists and locals. Hence, we decided to install solar streetlights. They have a back-up battery and can function even during overcast days,” one member said.
Calangute: A large number of Calangute locals gathered in front of a bar on Wednesday, alleging that it is a hub for illegal activities on the Baga road. They demanded that it be shut down. The trigger for Wednesday’s gathering was an alleged assault during the first week of May, following which two local residents were arrested by Calangute police. According to Nitesh Chodankar, executive member of the North Goa Rent-a-Cab Association, the nightspot at Khobrawaddo only has a bar and restaurant licence, but operates as a dance bar. “Tourists are lured here by pimps and touts who promise them women. The tourists are then taken inside and looted of their money and beaten up if they resist. A few days ago, one tourist escaped from inside and ran around 50m for safety to a restaurant run by a local. The dance bar workers came there and assaulted the locals when they were told to stay out. Later, the dance bar workers filed a police complaint against the locals and they were arrested,” Chodankar said. Locals said such incidents, wherein tourists are lured to the nightspot and beaten up and looted, have been going on for years with the police allegedly failing to take any action. “There will be a few girls inside. Tourists will be charged Rs 1,000 to touch their hands and then told that they have to pay Rs 10,000 for other features. If they don’t cough up the money, they get beaten up, their phones and gold ornaments snatched,” a local said, adding, “If the police come, the women escape from the back door.” Locals alleged that there are around 13 such nightspots. They demanded that the authorities shut them down by the end of this month. Further, they threatened that if authorities failed to do so, they would mobilise villagers and forcibly shut the nightspots down themselves.
‘Touts and bouncers harass, assault and extort money from tourists’Calangute: A large number of people of Calangute – a tourist heaven in the state – were up in arms on Wednesday against dance bars operating in the village, protesting against alleged harassment, assaults and extortion of money from tourists by touts and bouncers hired by these tourist businesses.The villagers converged at a dance bar in Calangute, clamouring for a strict action against dance bars and their touts and bouncers.They protested against the tourist establishments in the village for bringing a bad name to the world famous tourist destination.“A few days ago a teenage boy was assaulted in a fight between two groups. The mother of that minor boy works as a bouncer in a dance bar. She made a video claiming that locals are goons and that the police are not taking action against the people who assaulted the boy, who was admitted to the GMC in a critical condition,” the locals said.If this particular bar and restaurant is a legal business concern then why more than 100 bouncers and touts are employed, they asked, alleging that everyday tourists are beaten up and money is extorted from them.Director General of Police Jaspal Singh visited Calangute a few days ago to ascertain the allegations of harassment, assaults and extortion of money from tourists.Sarpanch Shawn Martins requested the DGP to shut down the dance bars as they bring a bad name to the coastal village.If this obnoxious atmosphere continues then tourists will turn their back on the beach, where there are 13 illegal dance bars, the protestors reckoned.Calling for shutdown of all the dance bars in the village, Nitesh Chodankar said that tourists are harassed and beaten up for money.Mahima Shimepuraskar said that women are not able to move out of their houses after 10 p.m. because of the insufferable ambiance in the village.Clarifying the air on the assault on the teenage boy, the Calangute police said that complaints and counter-complaints were filed in the case.Four people were arrested from both sides. However, the main accused, who assaulted the boy with a cricket bat, is absconding.The police registered the case under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code.Two accused have been released on bail, while two accused are in the lock-up, the police said.