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PMO’s intervention sought to allow religious service at Anjadiv island

NT NETWORK

Canacona  

Natividade D’sa, a resident of Canacona has sought help from the Prime Minister’s office to allow devotees access to the Anjadiv island for the customary feasts of St Francis of Assisi and Our Lady of Springs Church on October 4 and February 2 respectively every year. 

Natividade claimed that according to a letter signed by Dr Geeta Nagvekar, Under Secretary (Revenue- II), the South Goa Collector’s office has been directed to furnish the details of the survey number of the religious structures along with ownership details in a period of 15 days to be placed before the higher authorities. 

Natividade alleged that civilians were barred entry to the island to celebrate religious ceremonies as per ‘the terms of agreement ‘ which were
agreed upon at the time of handing over the island by the Goa government to the naval authorities for the Sea Bird
project.

Earlier pleas to the naval authorities, Catholic Church and other offices have gone in vain in the past years, he informed. 

Natividade also alleged that the Chapel dedicated to St Francis of Assisi is in total ruins and the naval authorities are not taking any care to preserve the centuries old structure on the island which has emotional sentiments to people who were residents of the Anjadiv island and devotees too. 

Anjadiv island covering an area of 1.5 sq. km located off the coast of Karwar is legally and constitutionally a part of Goa. The island which is a historical heritage is still a part of revenue village of Loliem-Polem village panchayat of Canacona. 

Civilians have been denied entry on the island since 2000. However only in 2004 due to the intervention of the faithful from Goa and North Karnataka, prayer services were allowed and again restrictions were put on the entry of devotees to celebrate the yearly feast masses. Since then for the past 14 years no devotees have been allowed on the island on both the festive days of the
year.

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