24 Jun 2024  |   07:17am IST


Law & order has gone for a toss, says Siolim’s BJP MLA Delilah Lobo; Anjuna police station doesn’t send cops on time, as ‘staff had gone for lunch’; water and electricity till today are in the name of the occupants who are now homeless

Team Herald

ASSAGAO: With no demolition orders to show, or any legal documents, bulldozers were used to muscle out a Goan occupant family, Agarwadekars, demolish their home, torture and kidnap the ailing man of the house and his son, all under the benign gaze and watch of the Anjuna Police.

The Anjuna Police had a ring side view of this orchestra of torture and did not even dare to name the people who sent the bulldozers, in the FIR lodged reluctantly and after the intervention of Siolim MLA Delilah Lobo, and too against ‘unknown persons’ even though photographs were provided.

While their house was getting demolished, PSI Sanket Tokre told the victim family that ‘the staff had gone for lunch’.

The owner on paper Chrys Pinto had sold the house to the non-Goan builder, even as the Agarwadekars lived in that house as occupants for decades.

The law was bulldozed and stripped naked in the following manner.

The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon when about 15 bouncers, both men and women, descended at the residence of Pradeep Agarwadekar at Bairo Alto in Assagao,  and asked them to vacate.

The bouncers told the occupants that they had come to demolish the house as they had instructions from the landlord.

The five family members refused to let the bouncers enter, and started clicking photographs and shooting videos of those who were flexing their muscles. The bouncers then started violently shaking the front gate to instil fear in the minds of the occupants. Putting up a brave front, Pradeep’s wife Prinsha captured the ongoing happenings on her cellphone camera. Fear of getting caught on camera, the bouncers then covered their faces and left the place.

“The bouncers then returned back with the JCB and I asked them to produce the demolition order, which they refused to do so,” Prinsha, the woman of the house said.

“When we stopped them from going ahead, they pushed me and my daughter, and it was at this time, I contacted the police, pleading for help,” she said.

“The cops came and took me to the police station and made me and my daughter sit at there. They send me for medical examination and kept my daughter at the police station. I received a call from my son that the bouncers had started demolishing our house. I pleaded with the police, but the PSI on duty Sanket Tokre stated that the staff ‘had gone for lunch’ and that he was helpless,” Prinsha added.

“After wasting precious time, the PSI sent two constables. The cops just took the keys of the JCB, detained two workers, took them to the police station and refused to touch the bouncers,” Prinsha said, hitting out at the cops, whom she alleged let the bouncers demolish her residence.

She alleged that within a fraction of a second, a bouncer came to the police station, took the keys of the JCB and went back and started with the demolition work.

“The bouncers then dragged my 19-year-old son and my ailing husband into a car, confiscated their phones, and moved around in various places for six hours and dumped them near a bar at Anjuna, at 10.30 pm . My fervent plea to the cops to rescue them fell on deaf ears as the police did not record their statement. In fact, when the whole drama was being unfolded before the cops, the men in uniform maintained a stoic silence,” she said.

“Today I am homeless, with just one room and a kitchen left. Even the steps of my home have been demolished and I even cannot enter my residence. My husband is ailing and is under medication. My daughter and I work day and night to make ends meet and today we are homeless. We had paid the landlord cash and we have a sworn affidavit regarding the matter. We have the house, water and electricity tax in our name. With these arm-twisting tactics, the common man today is helpless as the high and mighty get away by circumventing the law. The role of the Anjuna Police needs to be investigated and justice needs to be given to us,” she demanded.

“It was only when the Siolim MLA Delilah Lobo rushed to our rescue that the police have filed an FIR in the matter,” she said.

When contacted, Lobo said, “The role of the police in this matter is questionable. Non-Goans ‘Vermas and Sharmas’, whoever they may be, cannot take the law in their hands. There is a process for this and they should have issued legal notices before demolishing the house. It is the duty of the police to register a case against the accused or those violating the law and maintain law and order in the State. In this case, the police are silent, and they act only when an MLA intervenes. In civil matters, the police have full powers to act on public holidays – Saturdays and Sundays and maintain law and order. Here it is just the opposite. They have filed the FIR only after I accompanied the victim to the police station.”

When questioned, Anjuna PI Prashal Dessai, stated that they had registered a case against unknown persons under Sections 365 and 427 read with 34 of IPC as nobody was willing to identify those who were in the photos.

“As if rubbing salt into somebody’s wounds, the Anjuna Police have booked unknown accused despite I producing photographic evidence to them. With compassion give justice to the victim,” Lobo said and demanded that the cops book the accused for criminal trespass and kidnapping.

“How can the police book unknown accused, when there is evidence submitted to them in black and white? Law and order has gone for a toss and I call upon the chief minister to look into this case,” the MLA said.

In spite of the family being rendered partly homeless, no police protection was provided to them and they almost slept in an open place without security for the night.


Idhar Udhar