Stating that it appears that desecrations of religious places in Goa have been acts of only one person, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday has not ruled out involvement of more persons in the vandalism.
Speaking to media persons at a beach resort at Bogmalo on the sidelines of a function, Parrikar said that there could be “participatory involvement with support of different kind” in the desecration cases.
He said that despite the arrest of Francis Pereira in desecration cases the police would continue with its vigil at places of worship.
Parrikar said that he had been confident that Goa police would crack the desecration cases.
“We were going in a very scientific way. We have done a lot of data mining, and used technology, which are usually harnessed by investigation agencies,” Parrikar said.
Justifying his stand on not favouring a CBI inquiry into the desecration cases, the Chief Minister said, “I was not in favour of giving the investigation into the desecration cases to the CBI, as it (CBI) is not a policing agency… it is an investigating agency.”
Earlier in the day speaking at Curchorem, Parrikar expressed his satisfaction over the breakthrough achieved in the desecrations cases, congratulating the Curchorem police and the higher authorities who guided the police personnel.
Parrikar visited the Curchorem police station, and when asked whether the police team will be rewarded, he said, “Let the police complete the investigation.”
DGP Dr Muktesh Chandar said the culprit had disturbed the peace for the last one month. However, the systematic and meticulous investigations by the police finally bore fruits with the arrest of the desecrator Francis Pereira.
Pereira had plans to vandalise more religious structures, but under the guidance of South Goa SP Arvind Gawas to the Curchorem police the culprit could be nabbed, he said.
Throwing light on Pereira, Dr Chander said the accused is an educated person who used to draft petitions on different problems to various officers.
He had also maintained a special diary wherein he has his jottings and cuttings of news reports attached to it. The police have seized the diary.
The accused seems to be an intelligent person.
The DGP stressed on the importance of CCTV cameras, which can help the police in cracking criminal cases.
Minister for Town and Country Planning Vijai Sardesai, who also visited the Curchorem police station, said the Goa police have restored the faith and confidence of people in the government. The breakthrough achieved in desecration cases is a rare feat of investigation, and is a lesson for local police stations in the country.
Those who had criticised the police for inefficiency should apologise now, Sardesai demanded.
Curchorem MLA Nilesh Cabral also congratulated the Curchorem police, especially special teams formed to investigate the case, PI (traffic) Ravindra Dessai and constable Avinash Naik, for cracking the case.
He declared his award of Rs 50,000 to the teams.
Meanwhile, the North Goa Tourist Owners Association tore apart Pereira’s claim of being a cabbie, saying that neither Pereira owned a taxi nor he is a member of the union.
The desecrator of religious structures was illegally ferrying passengers in his Maruti van in violation of motor vehicle rules.
Strongly reacting to the statement made by Pereira of being a taxi driver, NGTTOA vice-president Ravindra Vengurlekar said that such statement will create a very bad image of taxi operators in the minds of people.
“Our taxi operators will never dare to hurt religious sentiments of the people. I have enquired with the South Goa taxi union and they told me that accused has falsely claimed of being a taxi driver,” Vengurlekar said.