Friday 14 August 2020

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Singapore style policing in Goa ?


It would be a serious punishable offence if you spit, smoke, urinate, throw garbage, fly kites, fire crackers or even behave indecently in public places in Goa, a la Singapore, once the draft Goa Police bill is passed by the House.

While preparing the bill, Chief Minister Pratapsing Rane, heading the select committee of the House, has incorporated systems followed in Singapore. It also plans to introduce system of auxiliary police and neighbourhood police stations existing there.

The neighbourhood police stations would mean the police officer visiting every house in the locality once in six months and participating in their family functions, to build a community feeling between the police and the people.

The auxiliary police would be selected and trained by the police department, giving the select people few powers to deal with public problems, within the limits of respective areas.

To keep Goa as clean and peaceful as Singapore, placing building material or washing and repairing vehicles on the streets, using loudspeakers without permission, closing the streets for public functions or even illuminating or excavating the streets would be prohibited.

No person could behave indecently in public places or obstruct or annoy the passengers or even take bath near the wells or tanks in public places. Selling any article on the road would also be made punishable while buying from children below 14 years would be a serious offence.

It gives magisterial powers to the police to compound while also authorising them to search any suspected person walking on streets or found moving in a suspicious manner between 10 pm to 5 am. The bill also deals with stray cattle.

Fines would be more stringent and deterrent for all such offences, starting with Rs 100 to Rs 1000 while imprisonment would also last from eight days to even six months.

As Goa has a semi-urban character of 'city state' and is growing industrially besides in tourism, says Rane, the Commissionerate system would be introduced on the lines of metropolitan cities, by replacing the IGP with a police commissioner.

It also plans to constitute a high power committee, headed by a retired high court judge, to deal with emergency situations like riots or public uprising. A retired chief secretary, female social worker, retired doctor and a psychiatrist would be its other members.

The bill may be passed in the ongoing session without much discussion as the select committee consists of the opposition leader and other opposition members.

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