It was July 14 evening last year. The Colva police had just received a call that a middle-aged man was lying in an unconscious state at the Colva beach near the toilet block. Inquiries later revealed the 40-year year old, a tourist from Rajasthan died due to electrocution after he came in contact with live electric cables laid to illuminate the ornamental lamps as part of Tourism Department’s ambitious plan to give a facelift for the world famous beach.
Seven months down the lane, a host of questions still remains unanswered -- have the police zeroed in on those responsible behind the negligence resulting in the death of the tourist? Has justice been meted out to the kith and kin of the deceased, who was electrocuted to death during his visit to the Iconic beach? Or, is the death case is long forgotten with those responsible behind the tourist’s death have not been brought to book till date?
As these and many other questions remain unanswered, inquiries by The Goan have revealed that investigations in the case has been going on a snail’s pace, with even a charge sheet being sent to the Court against the responsible persons.
Otherwise, consider this: While the incident occurred on July 14, 2022, it took almost three months for the Colva police to register a FIR against the contractor who had executed the illumination work. The FIR that was registered in mid-October saw the police registering an offense under section 204-A of the IPC against the contractor for negligence resulting in the death of the tourist’s death.
Since then, till date, investigations into the case have hit a road block. No charge sheet has yet been filed in the Court till date. And, it’s still unclear whether the police will at all file sent the matter to the Court for prosecution.
Reason: If police sources are to be believed, the contractor is believed to have taken the stand that the agency had completed the illumination work and handed over the same to the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) when the incident had taken place on July 14.
Who’s to blame?
It’s still unclear whether the police has quizzed the GTDC officials on this count and whether or not the Corporation had inked an Annual Maintenance contract (AMC) with an agency to look after the upkeep and maintenance of the works.
If sources are to be believed, the file pertaining to the electrocution death is presently pending with police higher ups, awaiting opinion whether to file a charge sheet or not in the matter since the contractor has taken a stand that the facility was already handed over to the GTDC after completion of the work.
The question of negligence had come to the fore after the inspection report compiled by the Power department stated that the damage to the insulation sleeve of the phase wire might have caused leakage current to pass through the earthing wire.
Colva-based social activist, Judith Almeida, who had demanded FIR against Tourism department for the negligence, said justice ought to be meted out to the family of the deceased. ‘The death of the tourist is a case of negligence. The investigating agency should take the case to the logical conclusion and mete out justice to the family of the deceased”, Judith added.