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Shoot Goa temple desecrators: Cong
Published on 9 Nov. 2008 12:39 AM IST
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The Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) has advocated shoot-at-sight orders in order to curb the rising incidents of desecration of religious structures in the state. Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and the home minister were present at the GPCC executive committee meeting, which took place Friday evening, after yet another series of temple desecrations in South Goa. “We have demanded that the chief minister should issue shoot-at-sight orders for these temple desecrators,” said party president Subhash Shirodkar, adding that some “forces” were trying to communally divide the people of Goa. Goa’s temple desecration mystery deepened further, as three more idols were vandalized Friday, a few days after the Goa police Crime Branch claimed to have made a breakthrough. Agitated villagers from the Quepem region in South Goa brought traffic to a standstill Friday when they learnt that the Sateri temple and two other shrines were vandalized at Kalsai, Dabhal Friday. Speaking to reporters, Deputy Superintendent of Police Rohitdas Patre said that the police had detained four people in connection with the case. “We are interrogating them. They were picked up from the jungles in the vicinity of the religious structure,” Patre told reporters. Crime branch officials also visited the site and interrogated the detained persons. Earlier this week, the crime branch which had been entrusted with the case had claimed to have achieved a major breakthrough, with the arrest of 25-year-old Razak Sheikh, a resident of South Goa. He was arrested after desecration of another temple at Paroda, also in South Goa. Police claim to have found Razak’s identity card at the temple site. The Crime branch Special Investigating Team (SIT) which is handling the case had claimed that this was a major breakthrough in the series of incidents involving vandalisation of churches and temples in the state. This year alone has seen about 20 such incidents. The state administration has announced an award of Rs.100,000 for any credible information about the perpetrators. In October the Bharatiya Janata Party-sponsored outfit, the Mandir Suraksha Samiti, had called for a state-wide shutdown in protest against the state’s inaction to curb attempts at desecration of religious structures.

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