Cabral challenges findings, alleges that report was made public before by-polls to polarise voters; Takes offence to defamatory remarks in article against Centre and State govts
PANJIM: The BJP Goa unit has challenged the Goa Church-backed fact-finding report on the desecrations of shrines in the State and alleged that the report was made public before the by-polls to polarise voters. The party has also taken offence to defamatory remarks made in a magazine article against the Centre and Goa governments.
“When the alleged vandal Francis Pereira served three years sentence for attempted murder, before committing a series of vandalism, how can he be a non-violent person? What is the fact in the fact-finding report?” BJP MLA Nilesh Cabral said at a press conference on Wednesday.
“Why do we need another probe when the Goa Police made an arrest in the cases? About the desecration of crosses in Marcaim after Pereira’s arrest, the police arrested a Jharkhand native,” the MLA added.
Cabral also questioned the timing of the release of the report, ahead of the by-polls in Panjim and Valpoi constituencies and alleged a conspiracy to polarise voters.
The fact-finding team had suspected the involvement of more than one person in the series of cases. The team comprising Mumbai-based Centre for Study of Society and Secularism (CSSS) and the Council for Social Justice and Peace (CSJP) had also observed that the desecrations were carried out in a form of a campaign to strike fear, insecurity and mistrust among communities in Goa.
They had demanded a court-monitored probe and accused the State police and the administration of trying to cover up the investigation.
Cabral also referred to an article published in the Archdiocese bulletin that equated BJP-led rule to Nazism. While clarifying that the Archbishop’s office is not at fault, the MLA has asked the Church to be ‘careful’ while allowing such articles to be published.
“Archbishop is good but when a magazine is being published through the Church, the Archbishop needs to be very careful. The Church should check what the articles mean, because the article in the magazine is ‘sheer nonsense,” he said, asserting that though defamatory remarks do not bother the party, its publication from the Church House is worrisome.
“The Church needs to tone down the articles,” he said adding, that the party does not believe in gagging negative comments. “Just because one needs an article to be published, it should not be published. The Church should take care because such things mean it is helping polarisation,” he said.
Cabral has decided to write to the Church to ensure this is not repeated.