Contract killing in Goa a threat to individual freedom

| NOVEMBER 17, 2020, 11:46 PM IST

The cold-blooded murder of two sisters in their 60s in Marna-Siolim is horrifying and a cause of serious concern because a migrant labourer was engaged as a 'hitman' for the job. The underworld-styled contract killing is now slowly raising its ugly head in Goa, and the Siolim murder only goes to show to what extent it could go. The Anjuna police were quick to arrest those involved, and initial reports indicate that it was a pre-planned murder executed by a labourer from Assagao for a price.

Supari killings have been the highlights of the dark underbelly of cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru where hitmen are ready to pull the trigger or wield knives. Precious human lives are snatched away in minutes for as little as Rs 5,000 and as high as a few lakhs. There are small-time gangsters, and there are professional killers who meticulously plan and plot to kill without any rhyme or reason. The common thread that binds all contract killers together is that they are fearless and are ready to kill for money. In Goa, migrants getting into contract killing is worrisome.

Goa has seen contract killers operate sporadically over the years in cash-rich real-estate and land dealings. Last month, a resident of Torda-Salvador do Mundo was waylaid and set ablaze along the busy road of Salai in broad daylight in what is believed to be another supari killing. Police revealed that the man was an activist and came in the way of the construction projects in his area. While Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has evinced keen interest in tracking down the culprits, even a month later, the police are yet to identify the mastermind behind the murder.

The narrative in Goa is strangely entwined between businessmen lobbies, politicos and gangsters, and which is why there are sometimes gaping holes in investigations leading to suspicious theories. The pulls and pressures are so dominant that at times cases haven't been taken to their logical conclusion. The Torda man's death case is still inconclusive, and the mastermind is yet to be identified even though the accused are nabbed.

Goa, once upon a time known to be a peaceful paradise, has gradually been witnessing crimes of the most gruesome order. Contract killers are now making their presence felt. These killers don't value human life; they value money. The labourer engaged in the dastardly act at Siolim was paid Rs 30,000 to take two lives. This only goes to show a steady degeneration in social values and, to some extent, a failure of law and order in the State.

The fundamental freedom of the common man is under its greatest threat, and the system is failing to provide an environment of safety and security. The State is witnessing a churn with fierce protests and agitations, the political heat is rising every passing day, and people are fearlessly raising fists of fury and voices of dissent. Under no circumstances can contract killing be allowed space in the Goan template. 

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