The National Security Act (NSA) has been imposed in the South Goa district by the Goa government led by CM Pramod Sawant. The law has been temporarily imposed for a period of three months. Why it was imposed and what is the real reason behind it, still remains the mystery.
The NSA Act otherwise known as Rasuka came into existence on 23rd September 1980 under the Indira Gandhi Government. It empowers the state and central government to detain a person who has become or seems to be a threat to national security. Under the NSA, the government can keep a suspect in jail for 12 months without any charge.
This has raised many eyebrows in the state especially from leaders of the opposition. The opposition has explicitly expressed that they hold the intentions of the government behind this in Dube. However, as per a police official, this move was simply a procedure to allow the collector to hear cases under the Act.
A News18 report quoted South Goa Superintendent of Police Pankaj Kumar describing it as a ”routine matter to ensure the district collector can hear cases under the National Security Act, 1980” when asked about the notification issued by the State’s Home Department Secretary.
The notification, which was issued on June 8 by the state home department undersecretary, was made public on Friday. It led to several party leaders criticizing the decision. among those who oppose it are Goa Forward Party (GFP) chief Vijai Sardesai said the BJP government in the state had “on Goa Revolution Day murdered the civil liberties the state fought for”. The state commemorates Goa Revolution Day on Friday, 18th June.
The decision may come as suspicious to the opposition owing to the fact that it is occurring just 6 months prior to the approaching State Assembly Elections. The air is rife with all sorts of speculation that the real intention behind this was to arrest opposition party workers during the months leading up to elections so as to weaken the case of contesting parties. If this is true, this no doubt comes forth as a major violation of the civil and political liberties of the citizens of Goa.
In his most recent statement, CM Pramod Sawant snubbed opposition leaders for criticizing the government mechanisms such as the police, calling for the police department to “show them their place,” adding to it he said, “as a chief minister if people abuse me, it doesn’t matter. I will continue to do my work, but at least don’t criticize my department.”
This comes after the CM recently came down heavily on the members of the opposition for relentlessly attacking the government over the “law and order situation” and mismanagement of the Covid situation. With these statements, the CM has given the clear message that the government will not tolerate any more criticism of its departments.
In past, this Act was passed in Goa in 2012. At the time, it was done solely for the reason to arrest anti-social elements in the state. It finally led to the nabbing of Raju alias Tiger Talwar, 27, a notorious criminal, a resident of Khareband, Margao. He was reportedly involved in various criminal activities such as attempts to murder, thefts, dacoities, and gang-wars in the jurisdictions of various police stations in South Goa.
This also makes one wonder if this move by the state has anything to do with the rising crime rates in South Goa, and if there are plans for any major exposes or arrests underway, like that of Tiger Talwar.
More recently, the NSA Act was imposed in a number of states last year during the lockdown in order to book miscreants disobeying the Covid-19 Protocols. This followed the infamous Tablighi Jamaat incident that caused a huge spike in positive cases in the state of Uttar Pradesh, and across the country. Therefore some even suspect that the move in Goa could be in order to beef up state mechanisms to better control and prevent the much-feared third wave.
Therefore, there is no end to the suppositions and notions spurred by this new announcement. Whether these conjectures have any validity to them or not, or whether it really is a routine case of the protocol as clarified by the authorities, only time will tell.