Margao: Goa Forward Party (GFP) has criticized the State’s indifferent dealing of train travellers and Goans stranded outside the State. The party also expressed their surprise at the sudden detection of multiple COVID-19 cases in Goa.
GFP Chief Vijai Sardesai also questioned the response of the Chief Minister who he pointed out had stated that the Rajdhani Express will no longer halt at Margao since most recent cases are of those who traveled on that train, whilst Nizamuddin Express will continue its halts at Goa as no corona case has been detected on the train.
He said this is shocking and is an expression of hollowness and lack of application by the CM. “It isn’t the train that is the issue; it’s where it originates from that is the issue. In both cases it is New Delhi,” he quipped.
"Interestingly, despite the false narrative, fear and apprehensions created that sea-farers and other non-resident Goans (NRGs) outside the country will be the “carriers of the virus” and should be kept at bay, only one of the new cases, is a ‘seafarer’ or foreign-returned. Even the real Identity of this so-called ‘Seafarer’ is disputed and in doubt. But what is most shocking has been the way the government has handled the ‘discovery” of these new cases’. First, there was a leak of the names of a particular community indicating a malicious intent to demonize a particular community. Second, the case of the so-called ‘Seafarer’ was hyped to the maximum to demonize the seafarer community and other Goans outside the country who want to return back to their home" said GFP President Vijai Sardesai.
"Goans have been pleading to get their loved ones stuck around the world and who are in distress particularly the seafarers and other NRGs but the Government has been deaf, dumb and impotent. We still don’t have a clear plan from the Government with no clarity when exactly the Airport or Seaport will open for rescue flights or ships. Secondly, those who come from within the Country are tested and if found negative are sent for ‘home quarantine’ while the government is insisting on sending the foreign-returned Goans, Seafarers and NRGs, for ‘paid facility" or institutional quarantine’. Why, may I ask? Is the ‘Swadeshi Corona-Virus’ less dangerous than ‘Videshi Corona-Virus’?" questioned Vijai.
"It is disgusting that this government, like vultures, want to feast on the misery of Goans. Our Goenkars are in distress, suffering due to loss of jobs or likely loss of jobs in the future, yet this government has no compassion, no mercy. They have suffered enough and for too long. Don’t exploit their misery and helplessness. Goenkars will never forgive the Government, their turncoats and their mouthpieces for the pain, stress and trauma you are giving them. Act honorably now or perish miserably tomorrow!” Vijai added.
‘Stop tourists, non-Goans from entering, allow only Goans’
GFP further demanded that all tourists and other non-Goans be stopped from entering Goa immediately and to allow only Goans who are stuck around the country. “Draw and make public immediately the repatriation plan to bring back our stranded Goans around the world, especially our seafarers and other non-resident Goans stuck on land,” Vijai added. GFP has also demanded that the government should have clear Standard Operating Procedures SOPs for both the points of entry, airport as well as the sea port and to rescind the decision of ‘paid facility quarantine’.