MARGAO: Activists on Monday gheraoed Fatorda Police Inspector Navlesh Dessai for nearly two hours for “harassing” ethnic Goans selling home grown produce by the roadside and announced the launch of Mission Fatorda Saaf to rid the area of all forms of gambling.
Aquem Baixo Sarpanch Siddesh Bhagat, Piedade Noronha, Congress spokesperson Sidhanath Buyao, Laurel Abranches and Raghuvir Shirodkar along with others condemned the police action and accused them of harassing only ethnic Goans while letting the migrants go scot free.
The activists were agitated with police for detaining Maclon Fernandes on Sunday for selling mangoes at Ravindra Bhavan in his Skoda car. They marched to the Fatorda Police Station on Monday only to realise that police had released Maclon and his vehicle at midnight.
Noronha pointed out that Maclon was paying sopo to the MMC and argued that the municipality should have acted against him if his business was illegal and not the police.
PI Navlesh said they are empowered to act against people selling goods by the roadside under Section 34 (IV) of the Indian Police Act.
The police had said that Maclon and his vehicle will be released only through the court order, but Buyao sought to know how Maclon and his vehicle were released at midnight.
The group left the police station following PI’s assurance to act against all forms of gambling in Fatorda. He asked them to inform him about places where such activities are carried out and revealed that during the current year they have booked 11 gambling cases.
PI Navlesh said Maclon was released on a bond of Rs 5,000 and added that the matter will be referred to court.
He said the Fatorda Police have launched a drive against people selling goods by the roadside and added that since January 1, 2018 they have booked 233 such cases besides 20 cases against beggars. “We have booked 10 cases on Monday,” he said.
He informed that even a licence from the municipality does not give the right to anyone to use the road to park handcarts selling goods.