Post 26/11, the government of Goa was stirred into the stark reality which had already embarrassed the Mumbai Police after their lack of mere preparedness to face terrorists was exposed with the megapolis' city police found toting with antique pistols and guns which made them look like virtual schoolboys caught at recess time when the terrorists from across the border struck the most telling blows at different locations in Mumbai's hotels, airports, restaurants and an Jewish centre on November 26 2008. Goa was feared to be the next terror target which had made the administration get up and take the much overdue decision of beefing up its armoury to meet current standards of defence preparedness.
It was therefore hearty to note that the initiative has finally borne fruit with the Goa government procuring over 100 INSAS rifles as part of the plan to gradually phase out the nearly 3000 odd .303 rifles which the force has been so far been using.
However the procurement of the guns has been part of regular haphazard purchase practices where the guns are there but no ammunition to use them. No doubt the guns procured last month lay unused for over a month untill the state government of Goa received a consignment of ammunition from the Delhi Police on loan. The guns have now been distributed to various police stations in the state to enable the '"men in uniform" to train themselves in the use of the sophisticated rifle.
The rifles which cost over Rs 10 lakh, have been distributed to police stations in Panaji, Calangute, Anjuna, Pernem and Porvorim polices stations in the North of Goa and Vasco, Colva, Margao, Verna, Cuncolim and Canacona in South Goa and the training of the policemen on the gun, is currently in progress .
The Goa state police is presently on a state of high alert following intelligence inputs regarding terror threat on the west coast of India and the possible eventualities during the forthcoming Independence day celebrations. Patrolling at vital points in Goa has therefore been intensified and the Police have increased their co-ordination with fishermen, hoteliers, cyber cafe, PCO owners and taxi operators, alerting and sensitising them about the security steps.
Hotels, guest houses,cyber cafes, PCO's and other places have therefore become the frequent stops for beat officers to maintain regular checks all over Goa.