Last year, of the 13 murders in south Goa alone, 11 were committed by migrants. One of the victims was Sucorrina Fernandes and the murder was investigated by the Curchorem police. In another case, a 21-year-old migrant killed 51-year-old Baptisto Roy D’Costa of Colva, in Betalbatim, and robbed him of his gold chain, gold bracelet, two rings and Rs 9,000 and USD 200 in cash.

March 25, 2019

Lionel Messias

Crime entirely migrant territory

The Goan sees crime, murder and often the sex trade flourishing in his own backyard, entirely involving outsiders. Only a handful of hotels (large, medium, or small), full-service restaurants (15 tables/80 seats and above), boutiques, trendy garment stores (in all segments) have been started by Goans in the last decade – against frequent seasonal launches in all these categories by non-Goans; from Candolim to Anjuna. If at all, Goanspirit erred, it is in the small to tiny restaurant segment with limited service. The garment store chain Mustafa has had the financial clout to expand, even into newly constructed prime space where the cost of a shop is beyond an average Goan’s capacity to buy.

Let’s take crime first. Goanspirit painstakingly recorded from media reportage, crime committed by migrants during the period of 40 days only in 2018, and a disturbing almost toxic trend emerged.

January 17: Margao police arrested Fatima Mukhadan, 37, from Mumbai and her pimp, Sandeep Borkar, 57 and rescued a 28-year-old Mumbai sex worker (all names are exactly as was reported, so there could be spelling errors).

Ponda police registered a case against Damodar Chafadkar who threatened and abused a woman Police Sub Inspector, video recording her issuing a traffic challan to him and posting it on FB.

January 14: Nitin Shankar Kokare of Maharashtra arrested after stealing from a shop in Kundai owned by Arun Dulhani (both non-Goans!).

Brijeshkumar Hiralal of Madhya Pradesh arrested for selling ganja in Usgao (near the Maruthi temple).

January 18: Maharashtra police arrested Suresh Powar for possession of 960 grams of ganja.

Curchorem police arrest Baleshar Raju Azzak, 45, for manufacturing wood polish without a licence. He earlier worked for a registered polish manufacturer which had shut down and used their brand name to sell his fake product.

January 19: Three tourists from Surat, Sarvesh Rajkumar Singh, 20, Bhavesh Sohanlal Vyas, 20, and a minor were arrested for stabbing a cab driver in Saligao. They had no money to pay for the fare from Baga beach to Ponda. The stabbing took place on the way back to Baga after the trio also convinced the cabbie to take them to Old Goa, in search of a ‘friend’ who would lend them money.

Police seize Rs Rs 8,00,000 worth of gutka from a bungalow in Bethora, Ponda, owned by Ravindra Mathkar, a gutka supplier (gutka is a banned chewing tobacco concoction).

Police finally register a case against Indian Police Service officer Vimal Kumar and woman PSI Devyani Ambekar in a bribery case. Gupta was deputy inspector general of police before being transferred to Delhi.

Police arrest Vipin Dagar, 24, Praveen Dagar, 23, from Delhi and Ajay Ahlawat, 22, of Haryana, in Calangute. This deadly trio first attempted to kill a policeman in Delhi, fleeing to Calangute where they went on a drinking binge and scammed a bank ATM at Calangute using a skimmer device with a built-in camera. Their Haryana registered car had a stash of IDs, batteries and circuits used for installing skimmer devices.

January 24: Panjim arrest Kavith Kant of Mangalore with charas and heroin worth Rs 2,40,000.

February 1: Calangute police arrest a pimp Sayed Masood Tanziland and rescue three sex workers. He was supplying sex workers to Oceanic Pearl Guesthouse in Gaurawado, Calangute.

February 3: Excise officials raid an illegal liquor warehouse in Valpoi owned by Pratham Brothers.

Ponda police arrest Rajkumar Omkar Mehta, 22, of Aurangabad, for possession of ganja.

Anjuna police book Vikram Vidyaramya Panduranga of Bangalore for playing loud music (breaking the regulatory law in force) at a night party in Badde, Assagao. He had no statutory permits.

February 11: Police arrest Ganeshan Gajinkar, a student of PES College, Farmagudi, for peddling drugs.

(Since recording of daily crime data from the local dailies is indeed tedious, GS will go through the grind again, later on in the series. The idea is to show you how migrant crime has come to stay and can only get worse).

Murderous Migrants

Last year, of the 13 murders in south Goa alone, 11 were committed by migrants. One of the victims was Sucorrina Fernandes and the murder was investigated by the Curchorem police. In another case, a 21-year-old migrant killed 51-year-old Baptisto Roy D’Costa of Colva, in Betalbatim, and robbed him of his gold chain, gold bracelet, two rings and Rs 9,000 and USD 200 in cash.

Like all crime, the lucrative flesh trade carried out mainly in the Calangute belt is entirely organized by non-Goans. In the six years till 2018, a total of 138 sex workers were rescued by police. The biggest bust took place on June 30, 2013 after police raided Rio Bar and Restaurant in Calangute and rescued 18 sex workers from Sikkim, Manipur and Nepal. On April 8, 2018 police rescued five sex workers and two pimps at Green Peace Holiday Home in Bamon Vaddo, Candolim. The pimps were from Orissa. One of the sex workers was from Uzbekistan.

Two taxis parked outside a cluster of migrant homes on NH-17B

Non-Goans dominate every aspect of the lower and mid-tourism industry in the popular Sinquerim-Candolim-Calangute-Baga belt. The division or contrast between Goan and non-Goan business in Calangute for example, can even be looked upon with hilarity by some. When the North Goa District Magistrate notified parking for cars within the Calangute Panchayat in April 2018; this is how it read: From BP Patel Kaju (sic) to Punjabi Tadka (sic) Chick and Fish. From Nokhils Dollar Kaju to Kaju Palace. From Coffee Lover to Happy Dear Store. From Kaju Depo to Capitol Wines. From Garden Rocks to Sahil Wine. From Raj Telecom to Aysha Enterprises.

Such is the skill set of the non-Goan small trader who arrives in Goa with virtually no baggage that even the sentiment of spelling cashew in the traditional Goan way is lost on him.

Margao’s Multi Cart Chain Biz

The dominance of this never-ending flow of low social status migrants who end up as food street vendors has had a cramming effect on the few open spaces and pavements in Margao, Panjim and Mapusa. When Margao residents disgusted by the garbage and illegal manner in which migrants operate their handcarts in Fatorda, near the town’s main bus stand and also the vital SGPDA market complex, complained to their Margao-based minister, Vijai Sardesai, he took no action despite being the Town & Country Planning minister of Goa.

As per the Margao Municipal Council’s (MMC) records, there are only four licensed vegetable vendors, 62 fruit vendors and 74 Ros Omlette kiosks. Residents say in actual fact there are hundreds of them. At least two or more kiosks are illegally operated on a single licence. Hand carts or moveable kiosks licensed to operate for a stipulated time of day only, operate beyond these hours. Residents claimed also that handcarts were licensed for pre-designated areas, but migrants do not adhere to this and operate wherever they want.

Licences (for Ros Omlette) issued to Goans are operated by migrants and residents suspect a massive sub-letting racket. They do not have the government’s Food and Drug Department permit. No migrant food vendor anywhere in Goa wears gloves or maintains basic hygiene around his food cart. Catering to several hundred people in a day, he uses perhaps 2-3 buckets of water for washing glasses/cups. Strangely, for the person eating, the gloves are off so to speak when it comes to eating unhygienic food!

(P.S: Ros (in Konkani) Omlette is a hot chicken gravy poured over a freshly fried omlette and served with Pao (Goan bread). Ironically, this is the only Goan street food snack that has stood its ground against the invasive Indian street food segment catering to both non-Goans and tourists.

In February, 2018, Konkan Railway officials officially complained to the Margao Muncipal Council (MMC) about the many makeshift food stalls outside the Aquem end of the Margao Railway Station. After an inspection, MMC officials discovered many illegal food kiosks using gas cylinders for cooking, in appalling conditions. After failed attempts to evict the migrant-owned kiosks, the hapless MMC chairperson Babita Prabhudessai declared: “I have given instructions to act against the illegalities, but for some reason they have shied away from taking action. One needs to find out who is pressurizing them. Obviously, when such multipronged action is contemplated, political pressure is bound to follow.” Exactly a year later, these makeshift food stalls have become as permanent as they were intended to be in the first place.

(Next: From Zero slums once, now exclusive slum areas)