Section 144 lifted in North Goa ahead of carnival

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The order had been imposed in the North Goa district for two months, starting February 11

A week after imposing Section 144 in North Goa district for sixty days citing “intelligence inputs regarding possible terror threats” and “in view of the prevailing situation in the country”, the District Magistrate of Goa withdrew the order Monday.

The decision to revoke the order comes ahead of Goa Carnival -- a huge tourist attraction --  beginning on February 22. The DM's order dated February 13 had left Goa Police confused and flummoxed, with senior officials saying “they were unaware of any such intelligence input”.

While Goa Police admitted it was a routine order, the confusion they said was on the “first few lines” as there was “no valuable input on intelligence threat with us at this stage”. Moreover, the order flags the “possibility of antisocial elements” with “an intention of committing crime”. The two-page order also makes it mandatory for tenants to verify antecedents of occupants before granting accommodation at homes and hotels.

The BJP-ruled Goa government had come under criticism from the Opposition for routine imposition of Section 144. Prohibitory orders have been imposed in the state since the Supreme Court verdict on the Ramjanmabhoomi temple issue in mid-October, which was later extended for over a month.

The Opposition had also pointed to Section 144 orders being renewed in the wake of anti-CAA protests.