Panaji: In light of heightened security in the state following a spate of terror scares, the Goa unit of the Congress on Thursday called for a security advisory from the Goa Police ahead of the popular Carnival festival.
“The police should take members of the public in confidence and issue an advisory which need to be taken by them in these times when there are serious terror-related enquiries and the threat of IS,” Congress Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik told IANS.
The immensely-popular Carnival is symbolic of Goa’s colonial Portuguese legacy and is held every year before the holy season of Lent and is attended by the thousands by both locals and tourists.
Naik’s comments come at a time when Goa Police and central intelligence agencies are quizzing 44-year-old Uttarakhand native Sameer Sardana, who was picked up by the state anti-terror squad for suspicious activities at the Vasco railway station, 35 km from here.
Sardanha, son of a retired major general, had converted to Islam, police officials said. He was arrested under section 41 of the Criminal Procedure Code and is being quizzed about his prolonged stay at the Vasco railway station dormitory, even as tech-expert in the state cyber cell unit have been scanning the contents of his laptop.
Top police officials, including Inspector General of Police Sunil Garg, have insisted that there was “no terror link established yet”.
The officials, however, said police efforts to continuously quiz Sardana, were in order to eliminate “every possible doubt” about his alleged radicalisation by terror groups.
Sardana’s arrest is one of the several terror-scares which the state police has been coping with.
On January 19, police had informed the media that the anti-terror squad of the Goa Police was investigating a postcard which had surfaced at the State Secretariat threatening Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is also a former Goa chief minister and Prime Minister Narendra Modi with dire consequences over their alleged “anti-beef” policies.
The letter had been handed over to the Goa Police by the state administration officials and the ATS was tasked with investigating the contents of the letter for veracity. After a thorough investigation, police have concluded that the post card was a “hoax”.
After the receipt of the letter the Goa Police had also requested Parrikar to accept ‘Z’ security during his visits to Goa, to which he is entitled to as a defence minister.