LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

No Water Supply

The residents of Sancoale in Mormugao, especially in the Vidhya Nagar area, have been deprived of water supply for the last four days. When the PWD’s water supply department was contacted, it was informed that except for the clerical staff, no other staff members like the junior engineers or assistant engineers were available as they were on election duty.

When a junior engineer was contacted on his cellphone, he asked to deposit `600 by way of DD for a water tanker of 7,000 litres. When the PWD was unable to supply us fresh water, it was their duty to make arrangements to supply the water by tankers, free of cost. However, they are asking for `600 even as the water supply with private contractors is available at `450 for 7000 litres. I request the concerned authorities to look into the matter on a priority basis.

AJIT RAMDAS VAIDYA, Sancoale

On Velim Violence I

This is with reference to the news item ‘Velim priest, 1,508 others booked for attack on cops’ (NT Feb 27). When people of a state or country take the law into their hands to beat up the custodians of the law, just like what happened in Goa on the night of February 25 when angry residents of Velim ganged up to thrash a police team at the residence of the parish priest, it marks the end of democracy and the start of mobocracy. It was a black day in particular for Goans, who are known to be a peace-loving and friendly lot, and a shameful act of venting anger on the police personnel who were only doing their follow-up duty of a previous raid, in a peaceful manner. It was also wrong on the part of a few misguided and mischievous parishioners to ring the church bell and aggravate the situation by summoning the villagers - something which is only done in an emergency. Finally, why should the parish priest be booked along with 1,508 others under the IPC when he was only helping to defuse the tense situation and save the policemen?

A F NAZARETH, Alto Porvorim

On Velim Violence II

Needless to say that Christianity is considered a peaceful religion and Christians in India are regarded as a peace-loving community. I would not be erring in saying that this dictum was badly violated in the hooliganism that was let loose by the people from Velim parish when they mercilessly beat up the CID officials while they were discharging their official duties lawfully. People have been clamouring that the priest was questioned by the police team in the night, which according to them is unjustified. Is there any law stating that raiding and questioning during the night is forbidden? Next, is a religious person above the law and can seek immunity from the process of law. If the answers are in the negative then the investigating team was on the right track and it was the duty of the people concerned to assist the agency peacefully. On the contrary, the church bells were tolled to mobilise an unlawful assembly and create chaos. The church bells are rung during the conduct of any religious service. Can that be misused by miscreants? Are not the church representatives answerable? It is said that the police personnel were locked in a room that provided the crowd an opportunity to pound them. Is it not wrongful confinement? In such flimsy episodes people often justify their act on the ground that their religious sentiments were offended. But there is also a norm that the law should take its own course and that it does not discriminate between the sections of the society.

MICHAEL VAZ, Merces