18 Nov 2020  |   06:04am IST

Letters to the editor (18 Nov 2020)

Letters to the editor (18 Nov 2020)

Mastermind behind heinous crime on RTI activist 

The deadly crime of burning alive in broad daylight of an RTI activist in Porvorim, clearly indicates that a strong message has been sent in our State that a citizen will be eliminated in a heinous manner from Goa if one tries to expose illegalities committed by authorities. This clearly leads one to believe that Goa has turned into criminal hub with criminal activity of murder which normally takes place in densely populated States of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Although the police officials have to be commended for having immediately arrested more than a handful of alleged criminals as suspects, but at a recently held public protest by a candle light vigil at Salvador do Mundo, consisting of activists from Porvorim and NGOs including politicians from all major parties in Goa to seek justice for Vilas Methar who was gruesomely murdered, serious allegations were brought to light that there exists a nexus between the local panchayat authorities, police and politicians who are hand in glove with the building mafia and are jointly responsible for the horrific murder incident.

As an ardent user of RTI, who even having sought Information under RTI invoking the Goa Right to Information Act 1997, one is shocked to even hear about this terror stricken act on a Indian citizen seeking for truth and justice. But one is more surprised of some influential individuals of a certain organisation who appear in many press releases as Goa RTI Forum urging upon the Government to appoint Information Commissioners and conduct some RTI awareness programmes with these appointees afterwards are totally silent on this criminal act on an RTI activist. 

This dastardly criminal act needs very serious investigation which should lead to the actual mastermind behind this terrorist act leading to conviction of the real criminals involved, even to the extent of asking the CBI to investigate to ensure safety of RTI activists in the near future. 

Rui Ferreira, Panjim 

How Customs pampers insiders

The recent front page report in your paper that a Senior Intelligence officer of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence was caught by the CBI with disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 1.5 crore throws a blot on the functioning of the Customs in Goa and raises questions on transparency in the functioning of an important branch of the Finance Ministry in Goa.

Your report suggested that the officer was previously caught by the CBI when he was working in another department related to the ministry. It is strange that a man caught before was posted in the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence which is considered to consist of officers of the highest integrity.

The CBI finding on the officer raises the question of how a tainted officer was given such a plum posting. And also who was the Customs Commissioner who recommended the name of this officer to the DRI.

An inquiry by Customs on who was the Commissioner who gave him an NOC to DRI will help clear the cobwebs that now appear to plague the department in Goa because an officer caught is usually punished. In this case he was elevated and ended up getting caught with Disproportionate Assets to the tune of Rs 1.5 crore.

Herald is known for its investigative journalism and it would be nice if your investigative reporters could throw more light on how the Customs pampers criminals in its department instead of punishing them for their corrupt acts.

Jeenat Begum Sayed, Sancoale

Nauxim project moving to Calangute?

This is in reply to your news item in Herald dated 15.11 20 regarding the view expressed by Agnelo Fernandes of Congress opposing the shifting of Marina from Nauxim to Calangute as earlier indicated his readiness by the local MLA/Minister Michael Lobo. 

Let me be very open and loud in telling Lobo that he must not try to impose in Calangute constituency anything that is rejected elsewhere in the name of development and with the hope that the “rejected stone will turn into a corner stone”.

 Because of the ill effects of Marina Project, Nauxim locals supported by the people from all around Goa are objecting it. Instead of dumping on our heads such rejected projects Lobo must as an economist and technocrat bring in Calangute Constituency ecology friendly and mass employment generating projects. Is Lobo having this capacity, knowledge and educational background to initiate such projects in his Constituency? Leave aside starting such employment oriented projects, is he having capacity to provide jobs for jobless youth from his constituency? 

To my knowledge there are only 2 places in Calangute Constituency – Sinquerim and Baga – for this project but at what great loss to the locals to provide all the facilities where so many houses will be demolished, trees will be cut and locals will be put into total inconvenience! Taking this into consideration will it be worth to have this project in my Constituency? 

A. Veronica F’des, Candolim

Vaccines almost at hand to curb Covid-19

With a steady stream of good news emerging that various multinational companies are on the verge of after peer-reviewing going to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines for inoculation, it would be prudent that everyone should show extreme restraint to be able not to surrender the advantage that the corona virus is well under control in India at large and in Goa in particular. 

Pfizer (above 90% efficacy), Sputnik V (over 90% efficacy) and now Moderna (above 94.5% efficacy) are the big multinational companies that will be able to manufacture and supply vaccines in a very short time, may be by January next year.

Like when Goa was in the green zone, with zero infections and fatalities, it would now be prudent to at all costs not surrender this advantage. Many more companies will roll out their vaccines and thus everyone will have a choice of vaccines to choose from. So it would be in the fitness of things to maintain social distancing with empathy, wear face masks, sanitise with sanitisers, wash hands with soap, maintain your surroundings spic and span, boost your immune system by intake of immune boosting foods and supplements, exercise strenuously, breathe fresh air especially in well ventilated surroundings as well as tree lined environment. Even though we are in the festival season, maximum restraint should be exercised to curb the spread of the corona virus until the various vaccines come to our rescue. 

Elvidio Miranda, Panjim

Identifying problems

This is the first step in problem solving. For Board Exams, if a teacher’s child is answering the same, she can neither set the question paper nor correct the same as she has a conflict of interest. This principle is key in all spheres even autumn season in Srinagar sdgsfor directors or referees.

In a Democracy, the people elect their representative to look after their interests. In the case of the double tracking and Mollem projects, we saw the CM meet Central Ministers without a power point presentation showing the views of the people. He and his team are only pushing the interests of Central Ministers. Here lies the problem: the representatives of the local populace, duly elected by the latter, have a conflict of interest. We know the Govt. in Goa was formed not entirely by the public voting..

Now, Directors, Judges, referees, teachers etc. all come forward to declare their interests and the conflict therein and recluse from the same. You cannot do a Trump!

R Fernandes, Margao


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