300 striking lifeguards arrested in Goa

Panaji, Dec 30 (IANS) Over 300 lifeguards who have been on an indefinite strike since Tuesday demanding job regularisation were arrested here on Wednesday for violating prohibitive orders, police said.

“They were arrested because they were protesting in a prohibited zone in the state capital. More than 300 lifeguards were arrested and will be released by tonight on personal bond,” Superintendent of Police (North Goa) Umesh Gaonkar said.

The Goa government on Tuesday invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) even as over 600 lifeguards posted on Goa’s beaches, popular with tourists at this time of the year, went on an indefinite strike on Tuesday demanding regularisation of their services.

The indefinite strike was called by over 600 lifeguards, employed by a private beach management agency engaged by the Goa tourism ministry.

Goa coastline, stretching over 100 km, boasts of some spectacular beaches which are popular with tourists.

Over the last few years, since private beach management agencies have been recruited by the tourism authorities, lives of several hundred tourists have been saved along Goa’s busy beaches.

The state is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country.

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