The Pramod Sawant led Goa government has imposed the National Security Act in South Goa for three months. Though the notification was issued on June 8, it was made public on Friday, a day before Goa Revolution Day, sparking criticism.
"In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (3) of Section 3 of the National Security Act, 1980, the Government of Goa, having regard to the circumstances prevailing in South Goa District of the State of Goa, is satisfied that it is necessary so to do, hereby directs that during a period of three months from the date of commencement of this order the district magistrate of South Goa may also exercise the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of said section 3, within the local limits of his jurisdiction, if he is satisfied as provided in said sub-section (2)," the official gazette issued reads.
"This is an attempt to suppress the people's voice and create fear among Goans. I strongly condemn the decision of the government," said Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat.
Goa Forward Party chief Vijay Sardesai slammed the BJP for murdering civil liberties the state has fought for on Goa Revolution Day. Claiming the move as authoritarian for the opposition was not consulted about the decision, he added that the government is disguising its hidden anti-goemkar agenda of linear projects and coal transportation to suppress the voice of Goans who want to save their home. Responding to the criticism, Sawant tweeted, "There are certain politicians in the state who are well known for their 'fotingponn', one who thrives on rumours. The people of Goa are well acquainted by their traits to spread misinformation and to create panic."
However, South Goa Superintendent of Police Pankaj Kumar claimed that it is a "routine matter to ensure the district collector can hear cases under the National Security Act, 1980."
The CMO too issued a statement that reads, "This is to clarify that under the National Security Act, the order for declaring the competent authority is made every three months. This is a routine order which declares the District Magistrates as the competent authority to dispose of any proposals received under the NSA Act. This has always been there and is not a new thing. This power is delegated by the State Government to District Magistrates or Police Chief, as the case may be, across the country."