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Jain Digambar sage booked for obscenity in Goa

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Panaji: A trial court has ordered Goa Police to file a First Information Report (FIR) against a Jain sage for roaming naked around Margao town last month.

In his order dated May 26, Judicial Magistrate First Class (Margao) Bosco Roberts ordered police to file an FIR under section 294 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deals with obscenity in public places.

The order, which was passed on May 26, but was formally issued on Wednesday, said that the photos of the Jain sage in the procession “prima facie make out an offence under section 294 of the IPC”.

“No doubt the freedom to practice and propagate one’s religion is sacrosanct under the constitution of India, but with every freedom comes responsibility and duty not to cause annoyance to others,” the order said.

Pranam Sagar Maharaj, a Jain Digambar sage had conducted a procession around Margao town, 35 km from Panaji, accompanied by local Congress MLA Digambar Kamat.

The sage’s photographs had gone viral on social media last month, even prompting a cabinet minister to demand a ban on sages roaming around in the buff in Goa.

Digambar is a sect in Jainism whose followers traditionally do not wear clothes and is symbolic of rejection of any possessions.

-IANS

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Goa Tourism Department Giving Finishing Touches to its Anti-Litter Campaign

Those who are destroying the beauty of Goa by sitting with a beer on a beach and drinking openly or cooking with a cylinder or littering will be fined

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Goa, Tourism, Litter
The Corporation functions under the aegis of the state Tourism Ministry. Pixabay

The Goa Tourism department is giving finishing touches to its anti-litter campaign, which is aimed at deterring tourists from creating nuisance on beaches and public areas, that includes drinking and cooking in public or littering.

Speaking to reporters in Panaji on Friday after chairing a meeting of the Goa Tourism Development Corporation’s Board, the chairman Dayanand Sopte said, that the department is in the process of finalising the government agency for levying of fines on errant tourists. The Corporation functions under the aegis of the state Tourism Ministry.

“Those who are destroying the beauty of Goa by sitting with a beer on a beach and drinking openly or cooking with a cylinder or littering will be fined. We are in the process of finalising the agency which will impose the fine,” Sopte, a BJP MLA said.

In January this year, the state legislative assembly passed amendments to the Goa Tourist Place (Protection and Maintenance) Act, 2001, which prohibits drinking alcohol, cooking in public places, including beaches and breaking of glass bottles in public.

Goa, Tourism, Litter
Speaking to reporters in Panaji on Friday after chairing a meeting of the Goa Tourism Development Corporation’s Board, the chairman Dayanand Sopte said, that the department is in the process of finalising the government agency for levying of fines on errant tourists. Pixabay

Individual offenders from now will be fined Rs. 2,000 for the offences, according to the amendment. If the offences are committed by a group of people, the fine has been hiked to Rs. 10,000.

The crackdown comes amid demands from travel and tourism industry stakeholders who had blamed the Tourism ministry, for a drop in quantity as well as quality of tourists visiting the state in recent times.

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Goa is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country and attracted nearly eight million tourists last year. (IANS)