Panaji: Around 500 people from the coastal belt of Calangute and Baga in North Goa on Sunday January 8 took out a rally protesting against the ‘Dance Bar’ culture, drugs and prostitution in the locality and demanded action.
Senior citizens and women who participated in the rally along with youths demanded that the ‘dance bar’ culture be stopped immediately as it is spoiling the name of Goa.
Youths speaking on the occasion submitted that not just girls, even boys are not safe in the area due to the ‘dance bar’ menace.
“We are afraid to move out of the house during the evening. Earlier such a situation was not there. Hence we need to eradicate dance bars, touts and drugs from here,” a woman who participated in the rally said, adding the government should take action on illegalities.
On Sunday, locals rallied around 3 km against ‘dance bar culture’, which was banned in Mumbai-Maharashtra in the year 2005, as it has now spread its wings in Goa.
Facing nuisance, the BJP leaders in the coastal belt from North Goa are up in arms against it, claiming that it is tarnishing the image of the coastal state.
Sarpanch Joseph Sequeira from Calangute constituency, speaking to IANS, said that around 500 locals participated in the rally.
“Today, we all protested against dance bars by carrying out a rally,” he said.
According to him, there are around 16 illegal dance bars operating in his panchayat jurisdiction.
“We have not permitted anyone to operate dance bars, licences are issued only for restaurants. There is no provision to issue a licence for a dance bar, hence the restaurant licence is being used for illegal purposes,” Sequeira said.
“No sooner had the dance bars been banned in Mumbai, they looked at Goa as an opportunity to spread this concept here. My village’s name is getting spoilt for this illegal trade. This should be stopped. Our elected representatives (MLAs) should discuss this issue in the Assembly session and put a ban on it,” Sequeira added.
Earlier in December, last year, Goa’s BJP MLA Michael Lobo had met Director of General of Police (DGP) Jaspal Singh and sought action against illegal dance bars operating in his constituency Calangute, and touts who cheat tourists.
Lobo, who participated in the rally, said that he doesn’t want dance bar culture in the locality. “We need to remain united on this issue,” Lobo urged youths.
“Agents and touts roam on roads and bring the customers to dance bars. They swipe their cards debiting Rs 25 to 30 thousand. But whatever they promise to the tourists, they don’t provide it. Then, tourists are assaulted if they demand to return their money. There are various such cases,” Lobo had said in December.