Tuesday 18 Jun 2024

Identity cards mandatory for devotees at St Xavier's feast



In what could stoke resentment ahead of the feast of St Francis Xavier, the Goa Police has issued a security advisory asking visitors and devotees to carry necessary identification documents while also strongly advising against bringing handbags, luggage, or any extra items to churches during the feast.

A similar advisory has also been issued for the upcoming International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

The advisory issued by Superintendent of Police (North Goa) Nidhin Valsan for the feast states, “the department anticipates a large number of people/devotees from different parts of Goa and neighbouring States will pay a visit to Old Goa churches”. 

“The devotees will also visit Bom Jesus Basilica Church, Old Goa for darshan of the sacred relics of St Francis Xavier, attend mass and religious ceremonies”. 

“All visitors/devotees attending the feast of St Francis Xavier in Old Goa must carry a valid Identity Card/ID proof for access to the Churches”, the advisory states while urging all to follow safety norms.

Another advisory has also been issued in view of the upcoming film festival. 

“The 54th edition of IFFI will be held from November 20 to 28. Being an international event, foreign delegates, dignitaries, famous film personalities and VIPs will attend the festival. It will also attract a large number of tourists both at foreign and domestic”.

“All visitors/delegates who will be visiting the venues of the film festival are asked to carry an Identity Card/ ID proof /delegate pass/invitation with them for access at the venues. They are however, advised not to carry baggage, handbags or any extra luggage during their visit inside the venues”.

The advisory further states, “in case, any visitor/delegate comes to notice any suspicious object/article or any suspicious person or any suspicious activity in the venue premises or in the surrounding periphery of the venue, they shall immediately report to the nearest police station/police out post or dial 100 /112, for prompt police action/assistance”.

The feast of St Francis Xavier will be celebrated at Bom Jesus Basilica at Old Goa on December 4 while the Novenas will commence from November 25. 

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