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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 http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2008-June/076384.html --------------------------------------------------------------------------- http://oheraldo.in/pagedetails.asp?nid=6206&cid=10 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 house. 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 appeal.. 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 Board. 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 HERALD REPORTER 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 HERALD REPORTER 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' HERALD REPORTER 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 the protestors. 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 HERALD REPORTER 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 Dal activists. 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! HERALD REPORTER 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 affairs. 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. * * * http://oheraldo.in/pagedetails.asp?nid=6204&cid=2 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 trouble makers.