Panaji, Aug 22 (IANS) The theories of the Goa Police over two madmen and a herd of cattle responsible for religious desecrations across the state is “too much of a coincidence”, a fact-finding panel endorsed by the Goa church said on Tuesday.
“It is too much of a co-incidence that two madmen are desecrating crosses in Goa without a motive,” the report which was released by the Council for Social Justice and Peace, a church-run NGO said.
Rebutting the police theory that a herd of cattle was responsible for the breaking of a cross at Chimbel village last month, the report has accused the police of trying to hide evidence.
“Clearly, there is an angle that even the police may be hiding evidence. The incident leaves room for doubt of political manipulation and possible police complicity. The police were seen trying to construct a theory and building evidence around that.”
The police had arrested a taxi driver, Francis Pereira, in connection with the desecration of over 60 crosses as well as other Catholic icons and two Hindu idols.
It was claimed that Pereira was of “unsound mind” and was responsible for more than 100 desecrations across the state over a decade.
Police also tracked down a Jharkhand native for desecration of 12 crosses in Ponda sub-district’s Madkai constituency, last month, but said that he was unwell and would be brought to Goa later.
The fact-finding report is unwilling to buy the police theory.
“The police are either under tremendous political pressure to close or are unwilling to get to the real culprits,” it said.
The report also accused Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar of “gross negligence of his Constitutional duty” especially in view of hate speeches made by Hindu leaders, who demanded hanging of beef-eaters.
“The Chief Minister of Goa, in gross negligence of his Constitutional duty, acquiesced the hate crimes on the ground of freedom of expression stating that he was not responsible for every statement made by any person,” the report said
“The fact finding team recommends constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under the supervision of the Bombay High Court or the Supreme Court to impartially investigate the desecration and bring to justice all involved in the crime.
“Such an investigation should explore the political angles and the state of communal tensions now prevalent in Goa,” it added.
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