The South Goa police stations have booked 108 cases under Goa Prevention of Begging Act from January to October this year.
Last year, during the same period, 82 such cases were booked by South Goa police stations. Beggars held in these cases were produced before court and appropriate action was also taken.
Police sources said that South Goa district police stations in 2006, booked 355 cases under the Beggars Act, which is the highest number of cases booked in recent years. In 2007, 307 cases were booked. Thereafter, the number of cases has come down drastically.
According to information available from one senior police officer, in all these years maximum number of cases were booked by Margao police as Margao being the commercial centre of South Goa, sees a lot of beggars converging here. This officer felt that with the increase in population, the menace of beggars, in places of religious significance, markets, municipal gardens and railway stations is still ongoing. He said that there may not be too many beggars operating in Margao these days, as especially during the tourist season the beggars focus on the coastal belt in order to target the tourists.
Data shows that from January to May 2012, police stations from South Goa booked 69 cases under the Goa Prevention of Begging Act, while in 2011, during the corresponding period, 30 cases were booked.
Police said that in 2011, during ten months, South Goa police stations had booked 69 cases which went up to 108 this year which indicate that movement of beggars in South Goa is again slowly
The increase in cases this year is a disturbing trend, however, the menace is still under control said the police officer. Police however, have taken note of this data and have said that the menace will be tackled before it goes out of hand, especially in view of the forthcoming Christmas season.
Margao police, in 2010, booked 142 cases in order to curb the menace of beggars in the town. In 2009, they booked 141 cases.
During 2009, in various police stations of South Goa, 170 cases were booked, while in 2008, 134 such cases were booked. In 2008, Margao police station booked the highest number of cases – 137. In 2009 Margao police booked 141 cases and in 2010, 142 cases were booked.
In 2007, in all, 307 cases were booked by South Goa police stations. Margao police had booked only 60 cases in 2008 while in 2007 in all 159 cases were booked by them. According to information available from 2002 onwards the number of beggars started increasing in Margao. In 2002 Margao police had arrested 36 beggars under the Goa Prevention of Begging Act, 1972 and Rules, 1975 however thereafter the number rose to 106 in 2003.
It was felt that proper implementation of Prevention of Begging Act and arrangements for rehabilitation of child beggars with their mothers could play a prominent role in curbing this menace. [NT]