Goa Police have initiated an inquiry after nearly 35 families of a particular community left their ancestral village to ‘relocate’ into the state forests adjoining Karnataka border.
The sudden migration, which spurted since November last year, has baffled the police who have begun a detailed investigation into the matter.
“We have sent a team today to take their statement. Earlier we had sent a team and met them. They had said that they relocated for peace of mind,” Superintendent of Police (South) Shekhar Prabhudesai told PTI. The families, belonging to a tribal faith, have been living since ancestral times at Xeldem village of Quepem taluka in South Goa.
“Suddenly one after another they started deserting the village with homes locked. We found things suspicious and brought it to the notice of local police too,” a Xeldem villager said on condition of anonymity. Prabhudesai said the families who have shifted to the forest claim that they have gone there for peace of mind. “They have not disappeared from the village. They have relocated. They say we have gone there for peace of mind,” the SP said.
Police would be preparing a detailed report on the incident to be submitted to the authorities. Xeldem locals claim that these families have shifted to forests near north eastern region of Mollem bordering Karnataka, while few are at Sucorna in Quepem itself. The locals also claimed that the families who left have withdrawn admission of their children from schools.
Quepem police inspector Pravin Gawas, who is probing the case, refused to comment on the issue.