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South Asian Film Festival in Goa from Fri (June 27) to Mon (June 30)
At Kala Academy, and ESG, Panaji, Goa
Communal violence rocks Margao
BY HERALD REPORTER
MARGAO, JUNE 27 – Communal violence erupted in the commercial capital
and the communally-sensitive Rumdamol Housing Board on Friday, as the
police used batons to quell a mob from going on a rampage, damaging
some shops in the new market and Gandhi market areas and forcing
shopkeepers to down shutters.
The Gandhi market bore the brunt of the attackers, with the mob
damaging goods in the vegetable, fruits and masala stalls. A couple of
shops in the New market area and two hotels were stoned by the
protestors. A vehicle parked on the station road was also damaged.
The violence was apparently sparked off by an altercation between two
groups in the Housing Board area near the Maruti Temple around noon
over an eve-teasing incident.
The fracas is believed to have been precipitated by an argument
between Bajrang Dal leader Mantesh Ragi and another group comprising
Rafiq, Damu and Panch member, Nissar Kilegar, when the former
questioned them over the eve teasing incident.
Allegedly coming at the receiving end of Mantesh, Nissar and his
supporters later marched to the house of Ragi and damaged his shop and
Anticipating retaliation from the majority community, heavy police
reinforcements from South Goa, besides platoons of the India Reserve
Battalion were deployed in the Housing Board since noon.
The police led by Deputy Superintendent of Police, Umesh Gaonkar told
a mob, which gathered on the road after the Friday prayers at around
2.15 pm, to disperse and help maintain peace and calm the area.
In the meantime, as news about the attack on the shop and house of
Mantesh Ragi spread, members of the majority community gathered at the
newly-built temple in the Housing board. The police called the two
parties for discussions, but the groups refused to heed the police
The situation grew grim when miscreants set a motorcycle on fire in
the Housing Board and damaged three other vehicles.
Around, the same time, members of the majority community rushed to
Margao to attend a meeting convened a the Pimpalkatta to chalk out the
future course of action. Seething with anger over the attack on Ragi's
house, the agitated crowd retaliated with some persons going on a
rampage after a fiery speech by Jayesh Naik to defend themselves
against pro-Pakistan and anti-national elements.
Completely taken by surprise over the turn of events at Pimpalkatta –
with the mob stoning business premises and attacking the Gandhi market
— the police recouped themselves quickly — after being accused of
being mere spectators — with more reinforcements.
When Jayesh addressed the crowd for the second time at Pimpalkatta,
with a call to all Goans, including Hindus and Christians to unite
and fight the anti-national elements, the police cordoned off the
area, before ordering a baton charge .
Jayesh Naik, Sushant Manerkar, Nikhil Borkar and Suhas Naik, who were
injured in the baton icharge were rushed to Hospicio hospital.
Agitated BJP members marched to the Margao police headquaters and
confronted Supertindent (South) Shekhar Prabhudessai for the
"unwarranted and brutal" police action.
They also questioned the SP for the police silence in not arrested the
accused named in the attack on Ragi's house and shop at the Housing
An agitated crowd waiting out the police headquarters stoned a bus
parked at the old bus stand. The crowd later assembled at the Hospicio
Hospital, where Rashtriya Swayamsevak (RSS ) chief Subhash Velingkar
and Bajrang Dal leader Vinayak Chari and others came to inquire the
condition of the injured activists.
Meanwhile, District Collector G P Naik told Herald that the police
have arrested 15 persons in connection with both incidents. He said
Rumdamol Panch Nissar Kilekgar and another person were arrested in
connection with the Housing Board incident, while the remaining
accused were nabbed in the Margao violence.
* * *
Police instructed to handle situation sternly: CM
MARGAO, JUNE 27 – Chief Minister, Digambar Kamat has said he has given
strict instructions to the law enforcing agencies to tackle the
communal tension with a heavy hand.
Reacting to the situation in his home constituency, Kamat also
appealed to the people to maintain peace and calm in the city. "Nobody
would be allowed to take the law in their hands", he said. "The
trouble makers may belong to any group or community, but the law
should prevail", he added.
The Chief Minister appealed to everyone that they should not flare up
the charge atmosphere.
On tomorrow's bandh call, the Chief Minister said the police have
already clarified that they are all geared up to meet any eventuality.
"The police have promised full protection to the traders and other
businessmen to open their shutters. The miscreants will be dealt with
firmly", he asserted.
The Chief Minister was constantly monitoring the tense situation in
the city with the district Magistrate and the law enforcing agencies.
* * *
IGP urges caution, to provide full security for shopkeepers
PANJIM, JUNE 27 – Inspector General of Police Kishan Kumar late Friday
night said shopkeepers and establishment owners from Margao and
Maina-Curtorim area would be provided full security in view of the
heightened communal tension in the area.
Kumar has urged business owner to keep their establishments open
without fearing mischief mongers to defeat their evil designs of
creating a discord among communities.
He said around 14 people were arrested today for rioting and
assaulting and didn't rule out more arrests. "Vigil has been
heightened in Margao market area, Maina-Curtorim and Davorlim, which
have been termed sensitive," the IGP stated.
Kumar, who visited the tension-hit areas late evening said
Maina-Curtorim was known for its communal harmony and appealed to all
peace-loving citizens to desist from listening to rumour mongers and
assist police in maintaining peace.
* * *
Bajrang Dal vows to 'retaliate'
MARGAO, JUNE 27 – The Bajrang Dal has said the organization would give
a befitting reply to the government and the authorities, for what it
termed as "unwarranted" lathi charge on Bajrang Dal activists in the
city here on Friday.
Briefing newsmen at the Hospicio hospital late this evening, Bajrang
Dal leader Vinayak Naik came down heavily on the Digambar Kamat
government for the failure to protect Hindu temples and the interests
of the Community.
"The present government is supporting goondas and anti-national
elements. The government will be solely responsible for any untoward
situation", he warned.
BJP Leader Sharmad Raiturkar said the authorities, including the
police officials will be taken to task for the brutal lathicharge on
According to him, the protestors were only agitating against the
attack on the house and shop of Mantesh Ragi, adding that some
miscreants stoned some shops and business establishments to defame the
name of the Hindus.
* * *
Press photographer injured in lathi-charge
MARGAO, JUNE 27 – A press photographer employed with Marathi daily
Gomantak Soiru Komarpant was badly beaten up by the police during the
lathi charge on Bajrang Dal activists.
He was later admitted in Hospicio hospital with low pressure and pain
in the back.
Komarpant informed that the policemen beat him up mercilessly even
after introducing himself as a press photographer.
The incident was brought to the notice of the district Collector, G P
Naik and Superintendent of police, Shekar Prabhudesai at the press
briefing called on the district Collectorate.
The SP has assured to conduct an inquiry.
Meanwhile, a row broke out over the lathi charge, with questions being
raised over who had ordered the sudden lathicharge against the Bajrang
When this question was posed to DySP Umesh Gaonkar, he said the police
were chasing the miscreants, who were damaging shops in the New market
and Gandhi market area.
"Will the police keep quiet if something is being damaged infront of
them", DySP Gaonkar said.
When contacted, district Magistrate, G P Naik informed that the
lathicharge order might have been given either by SDM Dipak Dessai,
Mamlatdar Paresh Faldessai or Executvie Magistrate, Gaonkar, who were
posted in the Pimpalkatta area.
* * *
Eve teasing sparks off tension yet again!
MARGAO, JUNE 27 – If Friday's communal flare up witnessed in the
Commercial Capital and the Rumdamol Housing Board area is attributed
to an eve teasing incident, last year's communal tension in the city
was also on account of eve teasing.
It was on May 8, 2007 that Margao had witnessed communal tension after
a group of Muslim youth attacked a Hindu shopkeeper in the New Market.
The attack triggered many protests not only from the New Market
traders, but from a cross section of the Margao society, culminating
in a Margao bandh for two days.
Unlike this time, during last year's incident, Hindu activists after
assembling at the Pimpalkatta had marched to the Housing Board
Rumdamol to display their show of strength.
In fact, the activists had then managed to sneak into the Housing
Board area and take out a morcha, even though the police had cordoned
off the entry point at the Maruti temple.
Incidentally, since the last one year, the city, besides the Rumdamol
Housing Board area had witnessed communal tensions even on petty
A police officer in the know said this was one reason why the police
had made a representation to the district Collectorate, South to
convene a peace meeting with the three religious communities.
* * *
Prohibitory orders imposed
BY HERALD REPORTER
MARGAO, JUNE 27 — An uneasy calm prevailed in Margao and Rumdamol
Housing Board area on Friday night, even as the District Collector G P
Naik on Friday evening clamped prohibitory orders by promulgating
section 144 of the Cr P C in Margao city and surrounding areas.
Naik has said the promulgatory orders has been claimed in view of the
likelihood of breach of peace in and around Margao city.
He appealed to the people of Margao to maintain calm and to observe
and obey the prohibitory orders.
Briefing newsmen in the presence of Superintendent of Police, South
Shekhar Prabhudessai, Naik admitted there was communal tension in the
Housing Board as well as in Margao this evening.
He said that police patrolling and bandobast is being maintained at
both the Housing Board and the Comercial capital
Meanwhile, the DIG visited the Margao Police headquaters on Friday
evening to take stock of the situation.
* * *
Hindu groups call for bandh
BY HERALD REPORTER
MARGAO, June 27 – Various Hindu organizations on Friday evening have
given a call for a Margao bandh on Saturday, even as the district
administration appears all geared up to tackle any eventuality.
BJP leader, Sharmad Raiturcar told Herald late this evening that the
bandh call has been given by several Hindu organizations in protest
against the attack on the Hindu.
Meanwhile, district Collector, G P Naik said that no one would be
allowed to take the law in their own hands, warning that the
administration will come down heavily on those trying to foment
trouble and force shop owners to down shutters.
District Superintendent of Police, South Shekar Prabhudesai told
Herald that the police has requisitioned additional police force from
North Goa and deployed in the Housing Board area and Margao.
He said that security has been beefed up around Mosques and Temples in
both Margao and Housing Board and warned of stern action against the