Goan Activists Demand Suspension, Enquiry On South Goa Collector Tariq Thomas, Minister Milind Naik

Speaking to media persons at a press conference in Panaji today, activist Adv Diya Shetkar demanded the immediate suspension of the South Goa Collector IAS officer Dr Tariq Thomas and called for an enquiry by the State Chief Secretary against Thomas and Urban Development Minister Milind Naik.

Shetkar alleged that both Thomas and Naik have acted in connivance with each other due to personal vested interests and caused wrongful financial loss to a registered association which has been organizing cultural events in Vasco for the last ten years.

Social activists and NGOs Nari Adhikar and Goa Citizen’s Action Forum (GCAF) demanded the immediate suspension of the South Goa collector Dr Tariq Thomas (IAS) and other concerned officials including BJP leader and Urban Development Minister Milind Naik for alleged corruption, manipulation of procedures, distortion of facts and professional impropriety.

diya-shetkar-goa-citizens-action-forum-vasco

Speaking to media persons in Panaji today, Adv Diya Shetkar of NGO Nari Adhikar said: The collector of South Goa Tariq Thomas has acted in a very arbitrary, partial and illegal manner to support a bogus or dummy and fake and illegal application made by supporters of Urban Development Minister Milind Naik under his explicit guidance and knowledge under the banner of an unregistered organisation by the name of Damodar Cultural and Sports Club, whose office  address is given as the office of the business enterprise M N Constructions of the Minister above named Shri Milind Naik.”

According to Shetkar, the facts of the case are as follows:

  1. Murgao United, a registered association has been organizing the Narkasur competition in Vasco for the last 10 years. Their application was submitted to the concerned authorities well in advance for required permissions and even the PI of the local police station Shailesh Narvekar had given NOC for granting permission. Dy SP had also given permission, based on report of the PI and the application was forwarded to Dy Collector for final approval. However, since the organizers had sought permission beyond the approved time limit, the application was forwarded to the Collector (South Goa) as only the Collector is the competent authority to grant permission for sound system beyond the normal time limit.
  2. At the last minute the Collector did a U Turn and in an order dated 5th November, 2018 denied permission to the organizers after delaying the application for several days. First the PI of the local police station Shailesh Narvekar on the insistence and coercion of the Urban Development Minister Milind Naik delayed the application for 6-7 days, by sitting on the file. Finally, the application was forwarded to Dy SP with the approval and NOC of the PI after wasting 6-7 days.
  3. At the last minute, when all other tactics failed, in order to find an excuse to deny permission for the competition to be organised by Murgao United, the Minister Milind Naik and his cronies submitted a fake application under a fake, unregistered entity directly to the Collector’s office via fax. Protocol requires that the application to organise such an event should be sent to the Dy Collector and not to the Collector directly well in advance. Also the application must be sent in person in hard copy format. “The concerned above named persons sent a fax application – which is not permitted, at the last minute as a ruse and strategy to give the Collector an excuse to deny permission to Murgao United who have been organizing this program for the last ten years. The new, last minute applicant who is a dummy and stooge of the Urban Development Minister Milind Naik has never conducted such a program ever. Their illegal and incorrect application should have been immediately dismissed by the Collector and permission should have been granted to Murgao United. However, under the influence, guidance and coercion of Minister Milind Naik, the Collector Tariq Thomas denied permission to both the parties concerned,” said Adv Diya Shetkar.

The Goa Citizen’s Action Forum and Nari Adhikar demands the immediate suspension of the Collector Tariq Thomas (IAS), pending an enquiry by the Chief Secretary of the State of Goa.

The GCAF and Nari Adhikar have filed complaints with the Vigilance Commission (Goa Dept) and the Chief Secretaries office demanding an impartial and detailed enquiry.

According to social activist Kenneth Silveira of Dabolim: Murgao United held the said competition for the last ten years and were the sole organizers of the event in Vasco for the last ten years. For the first time, the competition could not be held due to the vindictive and dirty politics played by certain politicians from the BJP party. It is a clear-cut case of victimization, as it can be clearly seen that the application for the event was applied well in advance on 24th October 2018. Order denying permission for the event was issued by the Collector at 5.30 pm, at the last hour as the Collector’s office closes at 6 pm. Ideally the Collector who had received the application with NOC from PI and Dy Collector should have passed the approval order before the 5th itself. However, the corrupt officials waited for the bogus and fake, incorrect application to be submitted by fax on 5th November and then passed the order denying both the parties of the chance to conduct the program on the grounds of law and order issues.”

“These bogus applications and complaints are the dirty tactics of the BJP to destroy and interfere in the working of their political opponents, misusing the state police and administration machinery, even at the cost of the sentiments of the people, said Kenneth Silveira, adding that the organizers had spent lakhs of rupees to organise the entire event, which they have been doing for the last ten years. The local people who have put in a lot of hard work and effort have become a victim of the manipulative and vindictive action of the BJP government and their corrupt, power-hungry Ministers.”

No Application to Hold EDM Fests Like Sunburn, Supersonic in Goa This Year

Panaji: Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar has said no organiser has approached the government to conduct the electronic, dance and music (EDM) festival in December this year in the coastal state.

Earlier, EDM festivals like ‘Sunburn’, ‘Supersonic’ and ‘TimeOut 72’ were quite popular among tourists around Christmas in the coastal belt of North Goa district.

‘TimeOut 72’ was held in the state in December last year, but ‘Sunburn’ shifted its venue to Pune in the neighboring Maharashtra state after 2015.

“We want the EDM festivals to happen in Goa. But since no one has applied, we can’t do anything about it. Goa is known for music and dance, and we want such festivals to happen during the tourist season,” Ajgaonkar told PTI Friday.

Asked if the absence of such festivals will have an impact on the tourist footfalls, he said, “Nothing can be said about it. People come to Goa for its beauty but festivals also add to the attraction.”

The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), an umbrella organisation of tour operators, feels the absence of EDM festivals will affect the tourist footfalls.

“The exact figures are not known, but a large number of tickets sold for such events held in previous years indicate that visitors enthusiastically participate in them,” TTAG president Savio Messiah said.

Since 2007, the Sunburn festival led to a huge increase in tourism-related activities in Goa, another TTAG member claimed.

“The attendance at the four-day Sunburn festival at Vagator in North Goa in 2015was around 70,000. Even if we assume that around 15 per cent of the participants were local Goans, the rest 60,000 came from across India and other countries,” he said, on condition of anonymity.

He said as per a conservative estimate, these visitors spend an average Rs 15,000 per day on hotel stay, food, beverages, local travel and shopping.

With this estimate, the average seven-day visit cost for those coming to attend a festival like Sunburn would be a whopping Rs 630 crore, he claimed.

Supreme Court Orders Goa Court To Hold Hearing In Tarun Tejpal Rape Case

The Supreme Court today asked a trial court in Goa, which is hearing a rape case against former Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal, to put the trial on hold until the top court hears the matter on November 27.

The decision was taken by a bench headed by Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan who has put the trial on hold till November 27.

Earlier on October 4, the top court had asked the trial court in Goa’s Mapusa town, not to proceed with the hearing of the case till October 31.

“An interim order dated October 4, 2018, would continue till the next date of hearing,” the Bench said.

Tarun Tejpal is accused of rape by one of his junior colleagues inside the elevator of a five-star hotel in Goa in 2013.

He allegedly sexually assaulted the complainant in the elevator of the Grand Hyatt in Panaji, where Tehelka was holding its annual Think Fest.

The former Editor-In-Chief of news magazine Tehelka, had denied all allegations levelled against him. He was arrested on November 30, 2013 by the Crime Branch after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the court. He has been out on bail since May 2014.

The trial court had charged Tejpal with rape, sexual harassment and wrongful restraint to which he had pleaded not guilty.

He had challenged the trial court’s charges in the Supreme Court seeking a discharge from the case.

BJP will not be able to win a single seat in Goa if Tendulkar continues to remain State President: Parsekar

Panaji, Nov 8 (IANS) Former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Thursday demanded the resignation of state Bharatiya Janata Party President Vinay Tendulkar “in the interest of the party”, reports IANS.

Speaking to media persons Parsekar said, the BJP will not be able to win a single seat in Goa, if Tendulkar continues to remain the State President, because his actions are totally detrimental to the party.

Parsekar, who has been taking on the state BJP leadership after his arch rival Manohar Parrikar was included in the party last month, said that under Tendulkar’s leadership the saffron party was suffering in Goa.

“I am not saying this because of any personal grievance. But in the interests of the party, Vinay Tendulkar has to resign. He is acting like a puppet and has no decision-making power. The entire party set up under him has to change,” Parsekar told the media before attending a party meeting at the residence of former Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza late on Thursday.

D’Souza, the minority face of the Goa BJP for almost two decades, has also been slamming the state party leadership, including Parrikar, ever since he was dropped as cabinet minister in October, on account of his ill-health, according to Tendulkar.

While Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s prolonged illness has already landed the BJP in Goa in a protracted crisis, the decision by the saffron party to induct Congress MLAs into the party fold has triggered further controversy and fissures in the party.

Source: IANS

Administration in Goa has totally collapsed: Michael Lobo

Stating that there is political unrest among the MLAs and that the administration in the state has collapsed, Calangute MLA Michael Lobo on Friday said that midterm poll seems imminent in Goa, reports the Navhind Times.

Also Read: CM cannot walk or speak properly, for last six months he is in hospital, he must hand over his job to someone else: Michael Lobo

“People have a lot of expectations, as promises have not been fulfilled and they are unhappy with the way things are progressing. The political situation in Goa is fluid and midterm poll seems imminent. It could be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha election in 2019,” Lobo said.

Also Read: Michael Lobo blasts Sopte and Shirodkar for ditching party, hints that some Goa BJP MLAs could join Congress

The BJP MLA was speaking to media after the inauguration of the laying of underground high tension cables from Candolim church to Saipem, which was the only stretch left of the 11KVA cables, which are being placed underground in Candolim. The work has been taken up by the electricity department at an estimated cost of Rs 1.7 crore and is likely to be completed in a month.

Also Read: Michael Lobo is the only fearless BJP leader in Goa who has the courage and gumption to speak the truth: Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco

Speaking on the political scenario in Goa, Lobo said that the state has already witnessed two opposition MLAs resigning from the Congress party and there are rumours about two more MLAs from that party who are likely to resign. “MLAs have taken the people of Goa for granted. This should not happen. When elected, that MLA becomes the representative of that constituency and when the MLA resigns, people lose faith in the MLA. The opposition has to be strong and should raise the people’s issues, which is not happening in Goa. The opposition is weak and I don’t know the reason why the real issues of Goa are not being taken up,” he said.

Also Read: Goa Govt paid 12-15 times the actual rate for Shiroda orchard land to a non-existent company to ‘buy’ Subhash Shirodkar

Lobo said that senior BJP leader and Mapusa MLA Francis Dsouza is hurt after being dropped from the cabinet. “He is close to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar; both these top leaders were the ones who brought BJP to power in Goa,” he said. When questioned whether Francis will be re-inducted into the cabinet, Lobo shot back saying that there are only 12 ministers. “This can happen if the number of ministers is increased, which is not going to happen.”

Also Read: Govt Jobs in Goa Are Sold For Lakhs’: Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco

On leadership change, Lobo was of the opinion that there is a need to hand over the responsibility to someone to run the affairs of the state.

“It is not that the Chief Minister is not doing work. The Chief Minister is being guided by his personal secretary and officer on special duty and they brief him on the day-to-day affairs. However, the decisions are taken at his residence. There is a need to have someone at the Secretariat to take quick decisions which is not happening, as the Chief Minister is sick. Regarding the Chief Minister stepping down or handing over the charge to someone, the decision has to be taken by Parrikar himself,” the Calangute MLA said.

Source: Navhind Times

Enough material evidence in hand to nail Prime Minister on Rafale deal, claims Rahul Gandhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday made a fresh allegation that Dassault Aviation had paid “kickbacks” to the Anil Ambani group to secure the Rafale deal. He also claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi was spending “sleepless nights” as he would not “survive” if the Rafale deal was probed.

Mr. Gandhi’s claims were made on the basis on Dassault Aviation’s annual report of 2017 as well as the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infrastructure’s annual report, where Dassault Aviation is shown to have made an investment of ₹284 crore in Reliance Airport Developers Limited (RADL).

Mr. Ambani’s company termed the latest allegation “a blatant lie.” In a statement, the company said: “Dassault’s investment in Reliance Airport Developers Limited has no link whatsoever with the Rafale contract between the Government of India and France.”

“The Congress party has falsely alleged that the funds invested in RADL have been used for the purchase of land at Mihan, Nagpur for the Dassault-Reliance joint venture,” Reliance Groups said in a statement.

Mr. Gandhi, however, had earlier described the Dassault investment in RADL as kickback for the Rafale deal. “If an inquiry starts on this [Rafale deal], Mr. Modi is not going to survive it, guaranteed,” Mr. Gandhi said at a press conference at the party headquarters.

“One, because of corruption and two because it is very clear who the decision maker was. Nobody will be able to say that it was a general in the Air Force or the Defence Minister or some bureaucrat in the Defence Ministry. It is clear who the man was, and it was Narendra Modi and the deal done to give Anil Ambani ₹30,000 crore,” he added.

The Congress chief also targeted the Dassault Aviation boss for lying.

“Dassault CEO (Eric Trappier) had claimed his company chose Reliance as its offset partner because it had land available next to an airport. But now it has been revealed that the land was bought by the money that was invested by Dassault. The CEO is lying,” Mr. Gandhi said.

“The big question is why a firm would invest ₹284 crore in a company with a capital of just over ₹8 lakh and is loss making? It is clear cut that this (investment) is the first instalment of kickback given by Dassault.”

‘CBI probe scuttled’
He said if Mr Modi had nothing to hide, then he would have been open to an inquiry and alleged that CBI Director Alok Verma was removed to avoid an inquiry.

“If the Prime Minister was not involved, he would have said ‘let there be an inquiry by the CBI or the Supreme Court’. But he is silent. He has lost his sleep because of tension because he knows he will be caught,” he said.

Source: The Hindu

Goa coalition allies GFP and MGP fuming, loosing their patience over distribution of additional portfolios

Panaji: As Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar began holding meetings with ministers, officials and party leaders despite his ill health, the issue of a change in leadership of the coalition government seems to have been ‘put on hold’ reports the Navhind Times, at least for the time being, with the two main allies – the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) accepting that for now Parrikar will continue to remain the CM.

However, the delay in the distribution of the additional portfolios seems to be driving the alliance partners towards frustration, annoyance and 1-2 leaders seem to be loosing their patience with Parrikar, though they are reluctant to take on the ailing CM headlong.

After the opposition Congress party launched an attack on the government by raising certain doubts, the much-needed movement was seen at Parrikar’s private residence at Taleigao since last Tuesday, reports Navhind Times.

The Chief Minister chaired the meeting of Goa Investment Promotion and Facilitation Board on October 30, which was followed by the cabinet meeting on October 31.

On Thursday, Parrikar held a discussion on political situation with five members of BJP’s core committee at his residence.

According to sources, though Parrikar cannot move or walk from one place to another or one room to other in his house, as he has become physically weak due to prolonged illness, he can interact and talk to people. He has to be carried from one room to the other or use a wheelchair.

It is learnt that the ministers, especially, those from the allies have decided not to pursue the issue of leadership change as Parrikar has got into action, though in a restricted way at his residence.

Even though the Chief Minister had assured that he would distribute the additional portfolios to the ministers by Dussehra or soon after that, the same has not yet been fulfilled, and this seems to have created uneasiness among the alliance partners.

According to sources, the Chief Minister did not utter a word on the distribution of additional portfolios during the cabinet meeting.

One leader who was part of the Cabinet Meet at the CM’s residence told IndiaScoops.com that the CM seems to have completely forgotten his promise to distribute additional portfolios to other ministers or induct more ministers to enable proper functioning of the government.

Speaking to The Navhind Times a couple of ministers, on the condition of anonymity, expressed annoyance as there has been no move to fulfill the assurance of the distribution of additional portfolios, however, added that it is the prerogative of the Chief Minister, and now they would not pursue the same at this stage, least the CM’s health takes a beating.

While speaking to the media soon after the cabinet meeting, Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai said that the issue of the distribution of additional portfolios was not discussed during the meeting.

It may be recalled that soon after Ganesh Chaturthi when Parrikar was flown to Delhi for treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences the assurance to distribute the additional portfolios was made.

Later, the Chief Minister reassured the ministers, who met him at the AIIMS on October 12, that the additional portfolios would be distributed by Dusherra or soon after that. However, there has been no movement on the allocation of the portfolios to the ministers even after the Chief Minister came down to Goa on October 14 from the AIIMS.

It is pertinent to note that the outburst of MGP president Pandurang ‘Dipak’ Dhavalikar against the BJP for not letting a senior minister from the cabinet to hold the charge when Parrikar is recuperating is also an indication that patience is running out for this ally of the ruling party.

Even as the talks were doing rounds in the political circles during first fortnight of October over the additional portfolios, now neither the Chief Minister nor the BJP leaders are commenting on the same.

Source: Navhind Times

Sanatan Sanstha Working For Hindu Religion, Says Goa MGP Minister Sudin Dhavilkar

PANAJI: Goa minister and Maharashtawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) leader Sudin Dhavalikar on Tuesday defended the Sanatan Sanstha, saying it is working in the interest of Hindu culture and religion and is not against the country.

The remarks came a day after a news channel, which conducted a sting operation, claimed the Goa-based right-wing outfit enjoyed political patronage due to which it escaped a ban after its alleged role in the 2009 Margao bomb blast.

Also Read: Goa PWD Min Sudin Dhavalikar and family helped raise funds for terror outfit Sanatan Sanstha?

Two suspected Sanatan Sanstha workers had died when a bomb they were ferrying to Margao in Goa accidentally exploded in November 2009.

Police also suspect involvement of activists linked to the Sanatan Sanstha in the killings of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, M M Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh.

However, the outfit, which has its headquarters at Ramnathi village in North Goa district, has denied any involvement in these cases.

When asked about the Sanatan Sanstha’s role in criminal activities, Mr Dhavalikar told reporters in Panaji that investigations were on in various cases and “court will decide whether they (activists of the outfit) were really guilty”.

Also Read: 150 pistols, 100 bombs, 3000 bullets were on the shopping list of arrested hardliners

“Sanatan is doing work for Hindu religion and culture. I don’t think that they are doing any work against the country,” said the leader of the MGP, an ally of the BJP-led state government.

The public works department minister admitted that his family has been associated with the Sanatan Sanstha.

“My family and I are associated with Sanatan to spread Hindu religion. Sanatan doesn’t believe in violence. It is working to spread the Hindu religion and culture and we support all organisations which do similar work,” he said.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha like cancer, a killing agency and breeding ground for murderers, ban it, demands Goa-based Sahitya writer Damodar Mauzo

Asked whether he financially supported the organisation, Mr Dhavalikar said “I only give advertisements to it (the outfit’s magazine).”

Notably, MGP president Dipak Dhavalikar, who is Sudin Dhavalikar’s brother, had last month claimed the Sanatan Sanstha was not involved in the killings of rationalists and activists and that some people want to project the outfit as a “wrong-doer”.

Source: PTI

Kyle Ticlo Son of BJP MLA Glen Ticlo was Over-speeding, Going at Nearly 180 km/hr Claim Eyewitnesses to Belagavi Accident

PANAJI: A BMW car of a Goa BJP MLA Glen Ticlo was torched by villagers along the Goa-Belgaum highway, around 50 km from the inter-state border in Karnataka, late yesterday evening after his son who was driving the car met with an accident injuring a local person and killing another.

While the MLA’s son Kyle Ticlo claimed that it was an accident as he lost control of the high-powered BMW, bystanders told IndiaScoops.com that the driver was doing nearly 180 km/hr or even more on a stretch where slums abound and is a known accident-prone zone, since people are always crossing the road on that patch of the highway.

An IndiaScoops.com freelancer reporter from Belagavi who visited the scene of the accident shortly saw an angry mob being lathi-charged by the police. The police used excessive force on the mob, which was protesting due to the fact that there are no proper caution signs or over-speeding warnings on that patch of the NH4, which is frequented by locals, who cross the highway.

Also Read: Goa MLA Glen Ticlo’s BMW Car Set On Fire After Son Kyle Glen Ticlo Kills a Woman, Injures Another In Accident at Belagavi

The MLA, Glenn Ticlo, confirmed the accident to news agency IANS, but said his son was not at fault.

However, bystanders told media persons that the car was being driven at a very high speed.

“The driver was going at a speed far above the permissible limit on that section of the highway. He must have been doing nearly 160 to 180 kms per hour when the accident occurred. It is a clear case of over-speeding, and reckless driving which caused the accident, resulting in the death of one girl and severally injuring her sister,” Hashim Khan, an eyewitness told an IndiaScoops.com stringer who visited the site of the accident about an hour after the accident.

According to a PTI report, MLA Glenn Ticlo’s son Kyle Ticlo mowed down a 20-year-old girl on Goa-Belgaum National Highway 4 around 5 pm on Monday.

Also Read: PICS: Over-speeding Kyle Ticlo, son of Goa BJP MLA Glen Ticlo’s BMW knocks down two sisters in Belagavi, one killed; car set ablaze

The girl succumbed to her injuries when she was taken to a hospital by Kyle.

Her sister, who was accompanying her, has been injured. Read the PTI report here.

The car Kyle was driving, a BMW owned by Glenn Ticlo, was later set ablaze by the angry mob. Locals allege that the police treated the serious accident with ‘kid gloves’ because Kyle called his MLA father who spoke to the Belagavi Police Commissioner on the phone, requesting his support. (See Pics Here)

Kyle was booked for rash and negligent driving, but later granted bail by the court.

“We are right now completing police formalities in Belgaum. Kyle (his son) is fine,” Mr Ticlo was quoted by IANS as saying.

A video clip surfaced showing the car, which is registered in the name of the Goa MLA, being set on fire by a mob.

The clip also shows policemen chasing crowds of stone-throwers.

A counter complaint was filed by Glenn Ticlo against unknown persons for vandalizing his car. One person, who was caught red-handed, has been arrested, reports India Today.

With inputs from PTI, IANS & India Today

Sakshi Maharaj Dares Rahul Gandhi To Challenge Him In 2019 Lok Sabha Elections

UTTAR PRADESH: BJP Member of Parliament Sakshi Maharaj has dared Congress president Rahul Gandhi to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls against him, saying he will leave politics if he defeats him.

“I challenge Rahul Gandhi to contest the 2019 general elections against me (from Unnao). I will leave politics if he wins, but if he loses, he should leave (India) for Italy,” the BJP lawmaker told reporters on Sunday.

The Unnao lawmaker also attacked Mr Gandhi for undertaking Mansarovar Yatra in early September this year, allegedly without maintaining “purity”.

“We are not opposing his yatra. Why will the BJP do so? But it is written in ‘shastra’ (scriptures) that purity is needed for such yatras (pilgrimage). He should have become pure before doing the yatra. No one enters a temple without (maintaining) purity. Darshan is not justified after having non-veg food,” said Sakshi Maharaj.

“He sometimes wears ‘topi’ (skull cap) and then becomes ‘Shiv Bhakt'”, he said taking a dig at Mr Gandhi.

The BJP lawmaker said he would welcome if Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav builds a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu in Saifai (Etawah).

On whether Ram temple will be a poll issue in the 2019 polls, Sakshi Maharaj said “As of now the issue is ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’ but in ‘yudh’ (war), the issue depends on situation.”

The BJP lawmaker also claimed the opposition’s fear of defeat from the BJP is the reason behind their efforts to forge a pre-poll alliance.

“The opposition is afraid of the BJP and that is why they are talking of grand alliance,” he added.

Source: PTI