Goa politician seeks chief minister’s intervention in church case

The case is related to a midnight raid on a church in 2012

Velim: A former Goa minister has sought state Chief Minister Laximikant Parsekar’s intervention in a three-year-old case where two Catholic priests and 20 villagers are chargesheeted.

In a memorandum to the chief minister on Wednesday former water resource minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues noted that Manohar Parrikar, former chief minister and current federal defense minister wanted the case closed and feared arrests could lead to a law and order problem.

Rodrigues pointed out that in February 2012, a purported raid was conducted on the parish priest of Velim church by the income tax backed by the flying squad at the disposal of the district collector. The action was totally provocative particularly as it was during the electioneering for the assembly elections and it was confirmed that nothing incriminating was found against the priest.

The Politian also said that it was after a tense period that the village gradually returned to normalcy with the intervention of the Church authorities under the leadership of Fr Lucio Dias.

According to Rodrigues, the situation went out of control after attempts by the priest to pacify the crowd failed and in the confusion members of the public and police suffered injuries.

Afterwards, the Cuncolim police filed a chargesheet against two priests and 20 villagers.

He further pointed out that it is a matter of surprise that no action has been taken against the police and no inquiry has been held as to why the police raided the church so late in the night during election time. He said that innocent people have been unnecessarily framed and implicated in the chargesheet including the parish priest and Episcopal vicar while actual culprits, the police who created the scenario by their ill advised raid on the church have been left scot-free.

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