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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”