Beat constables accosted group on Baga beach, robbed them of Rs 3,000 and threatened to foist a case against them
A trip to Goa during Diwali turned into a nightmare for a group of engineering students from the city, when two uniformed policemen robbed them on Baga beach.
The group was further traumatized when the cops threatened to foist a case against them and have them put behind bars if they attempted to complain about the incident.
Haneen Moideen and his friends left for Goa on October 28, since the MNC he was interning with had a weeklong holiday.
The incident happened after the group checked into a hotel near Baga and decided to go on a moonlight walk.
"We know that Goa is an internationally acclaimed tourist destination and the local authorities are very helpful, but we are disillusioned after being robbed," said a victim.
The students claim that they were not even carrying liquor or cigarettes when they were stopped and questioned. However, when the men in uniform were unable to find anything objectionable upon frisking the group, they demanded cash instead.
"One of the cops demanded Rs 50,000 to let us all go and even threatened to foist a false complaint and throw us behind bars. We told them that we were students and did not have that much money, but they were in no mood to listen," said another victim.
The duo finally left after much persuasion, but not before snatching one victim's wallet containing Rs 3,000.
The incident came to light when one victim informed his parents over the phone and they in-turn sought help from a relative, who is a senior police officer in Bangalore.
The next day, senior police officials in the city brought the matter to the notice of Superintendent of Police, Goa, North, Aravind Gawas, who in turn informed DySP, Pandharinath Mapari.
The DySP took the victims to Calangute police station, where the culprits were identified from a line-up of police personnel. The errant cops apologised and returned the stolen money.
Though Mapari suggested that the students file a complaint, they decided against it and only requested that necessary action be taken to prevent such incidents in future. "I'm deeply concerned about the safety of tourists in Goa," said Abdul Hameed, father of one of the victims.
In his complaint to the DGP of Goa, a copy of which was also sent to the National Human Rights Commission, Hameed said, "As a responsible citizen of the country, I'm willing to accompany my son to any place at any point of time and give a written complaint against the culprits under section 384 IPC and any other relevant sections and Acts, under special and local laws."