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Four Canacona murders: This tough cop cracked them all

The murder of British-Irish woman Danielle McLaughlin near Agonda on Monday night has been the fourth case involving the murder of a woman in Canacona over a period of 23 years.

21st March 2017, 07:02 Hrs
Tavares ensures arrests in all four cases involving women and convictions in three that went to court

the goan I network

What is unusual in all four murder cases is that one law enforcement officer had been deputed to investigate the murders and not only did he succeed in nabbing the killers in all four cases, but he also succeeded in getting all the accused convicted in three murder cases that went to trial court.   
Quepem Deputy Superintendent of Police and Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO)  Sammy Tavares was personally involved in tackling and solving the recent Danielle McLaughlin murder case; he was also involved, in various capacities, in solving three previous cases involving the murder of women in Canacona taluka.   
In 1994, Tavares was a police sub inspector at Old Goa police station when he was asked to assist the Canacona police station, after the peaceful southernmost taluka was rocked by two two separate murders of Indu Dessai and Sulaksha Marathe within a span of one-and-half months.   
He managed to solve both cases and a local youth involved in both murders was convicted by the court.   
In February 2014, the rape and murder of Vijaya Pagi had people launching large-scale agitations in the taluka, demanding justice, after accusing the police of going slow with the investigations in the case.   
Following public demand, the case was handed over to the Crime Branch and Tavares, who was Deputy Superintendent of Police at Crime Branch at the time, took over the investigations of the rape and murder case.   
Following meticulous investigations, DySP Tavares cracked the case with the arrest of a migrant worker 
in Karnataka.   
As Sub-Divisional Police Officer and DySP of Quepem, Tavares found himself in the midst of the recent McLaughlin rape and murder case. Within hours of the murder coming to light, DySP Tavares and his team solved the murder case with the arrest of a local youth, Viket Bhagat, who later confessed to the crime.
Most people in Canacona are confident that when this case finally reaches the the court, the accused Bhagat will also be convicted as they have confidence in the meticulous and thorough investigations carried out by Tavares and his team of dedicated officers.

Outpost at Palolem beach remains a dream   
CANACONA: Admitting there had been public demands for a police outpost in Palolem, Quepem DySP and SDPO Sammy Tavares has blamed the Canacona Municipal Council (CMC) for dilly-dallying on efforts to set up the police outpost.   
While addressing a public meeting in Palolem in May 2016, DySP Tavares had offered to set up a police beat post at Palolem beach, to tackle incidents of extortion and assault by organised gangs of teenagers as well as drug abuse and prostitution along the Canacona beach coast.   
Responding to public concerns over deterioration in law and order along Canacona’s coast, DySP Tavares agreed to recommend a police outpost at Palolem, but admitted that it would be a lengthy process as government sanction was necessary.   
“But as an immediate stop-gap arrangement, the police can immediately set up a beat-post at Palolem, if a two-room structure with toilet facilities are made available,” assured DySP Tavares during the meeting.   
Responding immediately to his request, businessman and president of All Goa Private Property Shacks and Huts Owners Association Dharmesh Saglani had offered a two-room accommodation to house the beat post at Palolem and DySP Tavares agreed to move a file in this regard.   
“Saglani had come forward to provide accommodation for the police outpost and the CMC assured to give necessary logistical support by putting up a proposal. Despite reminding the municipal council several times, no proposal came forth from them and hence, I could not submit my recommendations to the government,” said DySP Tavares. 
He hoped that the council will take steps to set up a beat post at Palolem so that anti-social elements can be kept at bay and drugs and prostitution can be nipped in the bud and the beach can be made safer for the tourists and locals alike.