Tarun Tejpal, mining issue kept Goa in news in 2013
As 2013 drew to a close, Goa witnessed one of the most unexpected cases which took away the media attention in the state from the issue of ban on the mining that affected the state`s earnings badly.
Panaji: As 2013 drew to a close, Goa witnessed one of the most unexpected cases which took away the media attention in the state from the issue of ban on the mining that affected the state`s earnings badly.
Tarun Tejpal, founder editor of Tehelka magazine, was in the headlines for wrong reasons after he was accused of sexually assaulting a woman colleague, in a five-star hotel in the state. The news scene in the state was dominated by Tejpal, who was arrested and spend uneasy nights in dingy police lock up before being lodged in Sada sub-jail.
The media attention around this crucial case continues even as the state prepares to ring in the New Year.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was accused of working overtime to get the police prepare a watertight case against Tejpal, allegations which was flatly denied by the Chief Minister, repeatedly.
The year also saw BJP holding a two-day meeting of its National Executive here in June where it anointed Narendra Modi as its Election Campaign Committee Chairman for the 2014 polls.
Senior party leader LK Advani kept away from the meeting citing ill health as did some other leaders, including Jaswant Singh, Uma Bharati and Shatrughan Sinha.
Little before the Tejpal episode, Goa saw a group of around 200 Nigerians taking the law and order in the coastal state to ransom. Protesting against the murder of a fellow countryman, they blocked the national highway. Police had to arrest 52 of them which followed assurance by the Chief Minister to deport the rogue foreigners.
But later, Parrikar was reported to have announced that deportation cannot take place as "many of the rogue foreigners don`t possess valid documents which makes it difficult for the state government to decide which country they actually belonged to".
During the year, the state inherited the old issue concerning the ban on mining by the Supreme Court due to the allegations of illegal mining in the state. The Goa government kept on financially supporting the stakeholders of the mining industry as the battle for its resumption was being fought in the apex court.
The state continued to reel under one of the most vexed issues -- airport, even as political parties braced to face the 2014 Parliamentary polls. The division was imminent among the political leaders cutting across party lines on the issue of new greenfield airport in North Goa.
The opponents for the new airport project swore by the fate of existing Dabolim airport which is situated in Indian naval base INS Hansa. Fears were raised that the new airport will spell doom for the old facility eventually killing the tourism in south district.
The socio-political debate was held at the backdrop of an important development in the form of Rs 300 crore new integrated airport terminus at existing Dabolim airport which became fully functional at the end of December.
In August, a senior IPS officer in the state came in the firing line of a ruling BJP minister who publicly berated him for acting like a "goon" and cracking down on rave parties, claiming it had led to drop in tourist inflow.
Using the occasion to inaugurate a coastal police station to embarrass Superintendent of Police Vijay Singh, State Art and Culture Minister Dayanand Mandrekar said the raids led by him on rave parties has hit tourism in coastal belts.
Uttar Pradesh MLA Mahendra Singh was among six persons arrested by Goa Police in August following a raid at a Panaji dance bar who were booked under the Anti-Prostitution Act.
Six girls, belonging to different states, were also rescued during the raid.
In September, National Investigation Agency recovered bomb-making equipment from a house at Anjuna village where Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal had lived in 2011-12.