They came, they killed, and we did nothing

The state machinery is responsible for the total collapse of law and order in Goa and we don’t need the opposition to tell us that

They came, they killed, and we did nothing

They came, they killed and they left, while respectable, law‐abiding citizens in the commercial capital of Margao watched the killers stab and shoot a jeweller in broad daylight.

The Swapnil Walke slaying baffles me not because it is a murder, but because the good people allowed the attack to take place as brazenly as it did and let the perpetrators of the crime get away easily from a crowded area.However, given the situation and in all fairness, the public cannot really be expected to rise up against armed men and put themselves at risk.

It may hurt the delicate sensibilities of many, but it seems that Goans are now finally accepting murders and endless violent crimes as normal and unpreventable. Shootings and other acts of violence have started to occur with such regularity that only horrific acts of brutality like the Walke murder or Santa Cruz shooting seem to capture our attention.

The state machinery is responsible for the total collapse of law and order in Goa and we don’t need the opposition to tell us that, as they only seem to wake up once innocent lives are lost to further their political ambitions.

The fact of the matter is that the law and order situation in the state was never fixed with lawmakers, law enforcement agencies and opposition turning a blind eye to it as if crimes in Goa never existed.

I’ve been a victim of a violent crime and I know how traumatizing it is to live with the mental and physical scars knowing that justice is miles away due to the shoddy investigations that are carried out by investigating officers that get in through political connections and bribes.

If it takes a year for our law enforcement agencies to file a charge sheet which happened in my case, why shouldn’t criminals be emboldened to wreak havoc on our peace-loving state? It is not the mere arrest of such criminals but what happens after that which is most important.

In the recent murder case, arrests have been made and will be made in the future but how long before they walk free again? Will the law enforcement agencies take forever to charge sheet the case and will it be strong enough to convict the criminals of this heinous crime?

In some time, the issue will die out and killers will be on the loose again, while the victims like me, Walke’s family and others will wait for justice and may never get it for no fault of theirs, but all thanks to botched up investigations.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the excessive rates of violence remain. Criminals won’t change their behaviour if a failing justice system threatens few consequences for violently breaking the law. Crimes are on the rise in the state because the criminals have no fear of law and its enforcement agencies. They also know that citizens are much less likely to get involved in crime prevention.

Citizens witness to the Walke murder have an opportunity to redeem themselves, yes many can be pardoned for failing to take on armed men, however, it will be unpardonable if they don’t show their willingness to testify in this case so that justice is done by punishing the slayers for their actions.

We cannot really expect the incompetent government to come out with stringent laws, nor can we expect a police force, majority of which has been recruited through the existing rate cards, to stop the ever-growing crimes in the state.

A sincere commitment to change requires action and unity from citizens. Moral values are powerless if they are not backed up by physical courage.

Yesterday it was me, today it is Swapnil Walke and tomorrow it will definitely be you, so embrace risk to clean up this mess and make Goa peaceful again.Like Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

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