Panaji: The district administration of North Goa on Friday issued an order prohibiting the assembly of five or more people at Manohar International Airport (MIA) in Mopa and surrounding villages till March 31 to prevent protests by taxi operators.
The order issued by North Goa district magistrate Dr Sneha Gitte also prohibits processions, possession of firearms, lathis, and other weapons, use of loudspeakers, sloganeering and firecrackers in and around the villages of Mopa, Warkhand, Nagzar and Chandel under the jurisdiction of Mopa Airport police station in Pernem taluka.
The district magistrate further said that the above restrictions will not apply to public servants on duty and to bonafide marriage or funeral processions or any special occasion which is genuine and for which prior permission has been obtained from the authorities.
The prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) will remain in place till March 31, unless withdrawn earlier, it was stated.
The prohibitory orders were issued after Superintendent of Police (North) Nidhin Valsan communicated to the district magistrate about the possibility of protests by taxi owners and villagers of Mopa, Warkhand, Nagzar and Chandel, which could hamper the functioning of the MIA, a senior police official said.
In a letter dated December 24, 2023, the SP stated that taxi owners and locals held a meeting at Mopa Airport police station on the issue of not being given an authorised counter exclusive for Pernem taluka, he said.
Taxi operators have opposed app-based taxi services at MIA and have claimed that GMR and other companies located at Mopa recommend services from specific counters to tourists arriving at the airport, the official said.
Taxi operators and villagers of Mopa, Warkhand, Nagzar and Chandel gather in front of MIA frequently, causing traffic jams and inconveniencing visitors, he added.