1:51 am - Wednesday August 21, 2019

Goa Police not so fast in registering FIRs, say activists

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Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpa breaks down, in custody for 6 days
Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpa breaks down, in custody for 6 days

Panaji – The Goa Police may have been surprisingly brisk while registering an FIR against Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal, accused of sexually assaulting a junior colleague, but its track record in taking cognizance of serious crimes speaks otherwise.

Nothing illustrates this better than the continued cold shrugs it gives Sudip Tamankar, a bus driver, an activist and an aspiring politician who has filed over 80 criminal complaints with the police. Barring one, none have been registered as First Information Reports.

“Tell me where I have not gone. The Crime Branch, the anti-corruption bureau, the local police stations. My complaints deal with corruption in public life and are against politicians across party ranks and numerous government departments,” Tamankar told IANS.

Tamankar, an avid RTI activist, has exposed several sc! ams in the past, some of which were taken cognizance of by the judiciar! y, which ordered the police to register FIRs.

The activist’s complaint against illegal mining, which names two former Congress chief minister’s was registered as an FIR by the Goa Police more than a year after he had written to them.

The registration followed a chiding by the Supreme Court to the state government for not doing much to rein in illegal mining.

If one contrasts this with the efficiency displayed by the Goa Police in registering the FIR in Tejpal case, even without recording the statement of the victim — purely based on media reports, a clear inconsistency is evident.

“I am glad that they filed the FIR in this rape case, but the same treatment should be given to all complainants who approach the police,” Tamhankar said.

Other RTI activists like Kashinath Shetye and Aires Rodrigues have faced a similar plight.

Complaints related to corruption and other government impropriety have rarely been registered by the police as! FIRs, until the activists approached the judiciary.

“Usually he (Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar) does not register any FIRs and we have to go to court but if Narendra Modi asks him, he will register an FIR out of thin air,” Shetye says.

In January, police delayed registering a rape case involving a minor girl, which forced angry residents to come out in protest.

More recently, the Goa Police’s slow action in case of the assault and subsequent murder of a Nigerian national caused a conflict between Nigerians on the one hand and the police and locals on the other.

This even triggered diplomatic tension between India and the west African country.

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