Goa police has roped in Quepem Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Sammy Tavares to assist the Crime Branch police investigation into the death of priest-turned-social activist Fr Bismarque Dias.
It may be recalled that the body of Fr Dias was recovered on November 7 from a river near a sluice gate in his village St Estevam from where he reportedly went missing on the night of November 5.
On Wednesday, family members of Fr Dias, along with some activists met SP, Crime Branch, Karthik Kashyap to inquire about the status of the investigation.
According to information, the family of Fr Dias has appointed Adv Peter D’Souza and Adv Caroline Colaco to monitor the investigation.
The case was earlier probed by the Old Goa police. However, with demands from Fr Dias’ family and social activists, the case was transferred to the Crime Branch. Subsequently, the Goa police had constituted a team of two police inspectors Virendra Veluskar and Vishwesh Karpe, and a PSI Laxi Amonkar. And now DySP Tavares has been roped in to assist the investigation. It may be recalled that following the demands of Dias’ family and social activist, who suspected foul play, a second post-mortem was conducted. The second post-mortem too had ruled out physical injuries prior to death but had reserved its opinion on the cause of death pending viscera chemical analysis report and the diatom test.
Family members and friends of Fr Dias including social activists suspected foul play in the death and have been holding candlelight vigils in various parts of the state demanding a thorough probe into the case. In connection with the issue, around 150 people, who recently held a protest in the city in connection with the case were arrested by the city police for violating Section 144 CrPC.
Meanwhile, the proposed protest at the Fatorda stadium during an Indian Super League (ISL) match on Wednesday demanding justice for Fr Dias and villagers of Carmona, who are protesting against Raheja project, failed to take off due to the shortage of match tickets and tight security around the stadium.
Security was tightened around the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at Fatorda prior to the start of the match as it was anticipated that the protestors would turn up to voice their grievances and draw international attention.
Senior police officials said that the football match was not a forum to express grievances and that they would not allow them to protest there and create chaos. “If they do enter the stadium and protest, we cannot do anything and it is up to the organisers to take a call on that,” they said.
With the crowd starting to build up at the stadium, the police virtually sealed all the entry points to the gates only allowing valid ticketholders to approach the stadium gates, thus defeating any attempt by the protestors to force their entry into the stadium.
Sources close to the protesting groups prior to the match said, “We were trying to get around 10,000 tickets. However, we could not do so. Some managed to get tickets but they all got scattered in the different stands.”