Panaji: The united opposition, on Friday, submitted a memorandum to the Governor Satya Pal Malik stating that the arrest of the Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte by the police was a part of the efforts of the government to silence its critics as well as detractors, including the opposition MLAs “in a manner that does not follow the due process of law and a vulgar and blatant abuse of authority,” further demanding that the government be directed to immediately lodge a complaint against the bogus complainant, followed by conduct of an inquiry.
“The inquiry should include taking deposition of the senior-most MLA of the House, Pratapsingh Rane, who has been a witness to the incident,” it added.
It may be recalled that earlier this week, in a late night development, the police had arrested Khaunte for allegedly manhandling a state Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Premanand Mhambre. Khaunte was then taken to Porvorim police station and later released on bail.
The united opposition led by the Leader of the Opposition Digambar Kamat met the Governor at Raj Bhavan and handed him the memorandum signed by 10 opposition MLAs.
Luizinho Faleiro, who has also signed the document, was however absent at the meeting with the Governor.
Later, speaking to the pressmen, Kamat said that these days history is being created in the state Legislative Assembly.
“For the first time in the history of Goa, four former chief ministers were whisked away from the Assembly yesterday, and then budget was presented in the House,” he added, pointing out that never before was the state Budget presented in the absence of opposition in the House.
The Leader of the Opposition also said that he wanted the Speaker, Rajesh Patnekar to resolve the issue as regards the arrest of Khaunte, however, the Speaker as well as the government seems to be in no mood to resolve the same.
“Now, we have come to the Governor and we feel that he will do something,” he added.
Vijay Sardesai said that the united opposition demands action against the person, who filed a false complaint against Khaunte, and if this does not happen then it would be the murder of democracy.
“This is an unprecedented incident, and signals the entry of fascism in Goa, through the Legislative Assembly,” he added.
Rane said that he was with Khaunte when Khaunte and Mhambre started speaking with each other.
“I don’t know who gave what information to the Speaker, but the Speaker needed to inquire on the information received, and if necessary issue a show cause notice,” he added, observing that such a thing was not followed.
“Arresting an MLA without proper inquiry is nothing but return to the dictatorial Portuguese rule,” Rane stated, recalling that such things used to happen when (Casimiro) Monteiro was the police agent, during the Portuguese regime in Goa.
The memorandum submitted to the Governor also stated, “The incidents that have occurred over the past couple of days have unequivocally exposed the fascist tendencies of the current government in Goa and the attempts made by it to quell dissent and silence its critics in the most undemocratic and unconstitutional ways.”