OLD GOA: A senior police official stated that in advance of the novenas and feast of St. Francis Xavier, which begin on Saturday, the Goa police and other state agencies have carried out a fictitious security drill around the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa.
He claimed that during the fictitious exercise on Wednesday, authorities apprehended two fictitious terrorists and neutralized a fictitious bomb in a bag close to the Basilica of Bom Jesus.
About 800 people, including tourists and devotees, were safely evacuated during the fictitious exercise in seven minutes without any incidents of panic. In twenty-two minutes, the police said, the drill was over.
Under the direction of Superintendent of Police (North Goa) Nidhin Valsan and the church authorities, the Old Goa police, anti-terrorist squad, bomb detection and disposal squad, dog squad, fire and emergency services, and health department took part in the drill.
From November 25 through December 4, there will be novenas and a feast honoring St. Francis Xavier.
Thousands of people gather in Old Goa to pray to Goa’s patron saint, St. Francis Xavier, whose relics are kept at the church in the state along the coast.