- Unseen but still present under the surface
Unseen but still present under the surface
The Nigerian does not stay very long in one place but has found refuge in the village of Parra which surprises several people because the local panchayat had banned local residents from renting out to nationals of that country. Basuri Desai looks at what keeps the Nigerian here in the state despite all these obstacles
The presence of Nigerians remains in the news for another reason in Goa. Despite the strict vigil by enforcement agencies and resistance from the local residents they have continued their trade. However the absence of systems to handle them after they are arrested is what stymies attempts to destroy the drug trade. Goa neither has a detention centre nor the mechanism to deport foreigners from state if found without valid visa.
Nigerians are facing resistance from every village of North Goa but Parra village which is on the outskirts of Mapusa in Bardez are found to be tolerant to them. They have made Parra their home after they were rejected by residents of Candolim, Siolim and Morjim. In small pockets of Aramabol they are once again found staying.
In November 2013 a Nigerian was stabbed to death in a clash between local and Nigerian in a drug rivalry in Parra. The village of Parra, a popular residential hub for Nigerians in north Goa had passed a resolution at a specially convened meeting of panchayat banning the renting of rooms and houses to Nigerians. The decision was taken after it was found that most Nigerians found on a fake visa to stay in Goa and peddle drugs.
The entire village stood against the Nigerians in Parra in 2013 but four years down the line Nigerians have made their home once again. After the resolution in 2013 they moved away from Parra for few months but returned without making any noise.
Calangute MLA Michael Lobo who is a also a resident of Parra village and his wife is a Sarpanch of village panchayat has said that Nigerians are not residing in Parra whereas they have seen taking shelters in neighbouring areas like Guirim and Verla-Canca.
“Now I don’t know there may be some Nigerians residing, but village panchayat take action if locals found renting houses to them. People have to inform panchayat if their houses are given on rent”, he said.
The issue of Nigerians residing in Goa has become a major issue after the rising incidents in which Nigerians are involved. In November 2013 a Nigerian was murdered in Parra just 500 metres away from Lobo’s house while now a Nigerian was murdered by a fellow Nigerian in the tiny ward of Girkarwado in Arambol village.
Following the murder in 2013, a crowd of Nigerians created a ruckus by blocking the national highway in Porvorim and even attacked police personnel while pulling out their colleague’s dead body and laying it out on the road.
The Gram Sabha’s across coast was held in this background, where the villagers expressed concern over increasing menace of Nigerians in the village.
Following Parra, Siolim, Morjim, Arambol, Paliem village panchayats had taken the resolution not to rent out the houses to Nigerian but four years down the line, not only the Parra village where Nigerians have seen residing but also in the pockets of other panchayats.
With the recent murder in Girkarwadi-Arambol the locals have said that some of the residents have rented some places to them.
“They don’t reside more than two months in one place, nobody know who stays in the rented rooms, who come and who goes. People in greed of some bucks taking the risk of keeping the rouges”, said Dhiraj Naik, Arambol resident.