Betalbatim Beach in South Goa (Image Credits: Tanya Dedyukhina) Wiki Commons

More than six months have passed to the incident of the gangrape of a 20-year-old local girl by a group of tourists from the neighbouring state, but the condition of the beach remains same without any safety measures to prevent such incident in the future. The authorize who had promised to install the CCTV in the area along with the proper illumination but nothing has been done as yet. The question of who will take the responsibility, if such more incidents take place remains unanswered.   

In the month of May 2018, a 20-year-old girl was raped by a group of tourists from Indore and Madhya Pradesh. They had sexually assaulted the girl in front of her boyfriend at knifepoint when she and her boyfriend were sitting on the beach in the late evening.

Betalbattim beach, situated in Colva is the most isolated area in south Goa, and many couples frequently visit this place to spend time together, but this is the first time when such a gruesome incident took place in the state and that too with the involvement of the tourists coming from the neighbouring states.

The life of people in Goa has become more unsafe with the low standard scums coming to Goa as tourists and the state government does not seem to be doing much about it. 

According to the Times of India following the incident the local Political parties, activists and women’s groups protested against the breakdown of law and order in the state and demanded justice.  

Three Accused Involved in Betalbatim Rape Case in Police Custody facing Trial

The Betalbatim panchayat took the 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. The trial in the case has begun after five months of the incident and the court seems to have directed the authorities to complete the process of safety measures at the beach. But besides the exception of police patrolling, nothing much has changed in that area and according to the sources, even the police patrolling has been stopped due to the bad condition of their two-wheelers which remains in the garage more than that on the task.          

In the meanwhile, the blame game has already begun. According to the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), related technical work has just started. Regarding the delay in erecting the pole for the high-mast lamp, they have blamed the CRZ authorities for not getting the clearances certificates from the landowners and local panchayat office.       However, Miranda said all required NOCs have been issued to GTDC. 

The sarpanch said the panchayat has written to the forest department to cut the vegetation, but till date, nothing has been done. However, range forest officer-in-charge (Salcete) Siddesh Gawde denied having received any request from the panchayat in this regard.

The controversy will keep going till may be another incident takes place and all the NGOs and political parties will come on the streets to protest against the system. There is no system in the place for doing things prior to the unwanted incidents takes place? Why the political parties and NGOs take initiatives beforehand? The people in politics have lots of powers, then why they don’t use it here? What are your views on this??

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