BY FLYNN REMEDIOS: According to reliable and senior sources in the Goa Police Special Branch (SB) who spoke to IndiaScribes.com on condition of anonymity, the SB had warned both the DGP’s office and the CM’s office that permitting Sadhvi Saraswati and other speakers at the All India Hindu Convention at Ramnathi village in Ponda could be disastrous for communal harmony in the State.
The SB is the department that performs special intelligence functions and has political, labour, youth and student intelligence wings and is the eyes and ears of the police department and the Government of Goa. The SB submits daily and weekly reports on all activities, events, people and businesses to the government, the Home department and the CMs office in the State. In the Maharashtra police, the same functions are carried out by the SID or State Intelligence Department.
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In a confidential report, which was shared with the DGP and CM’s offices, days prior to the All India Hindu Convention, the SB had stated that the department had prior knowledge that the speakers were geared up to incite or flare up communal passions in the State of Goa and create ripples in the rest of the country through the resulting media mileage and coverage. The SB warned the government that the idea of the All India Hindu Convention was to make a rather unknown group of speakers and an otherwise low-budget, low-key event gain national media space through controversial, sensationalized utterances and statements, which could eventually effect the delicate communal harmony in the State of Goa.
Hence the questions that remain unanswered are:
Why did the CM’s office and the DGP’s office not act on the confidential Special Branch report?
How did the Goa Police permit the controversial event – with known trouble makers with a history of making sensitive, communally charged and vitriolic statements to disturb public peace and who have cases registered against them in other States?
Is Goa CM Manohar Parrikar and the Goa Govt equally guilty and responsible for the event and the communally charged statements of the speakers including Sadhvi Saraswati?
Did the Goa Police knowingly permit a potentially explosive communal event that could have event sparked a riot or serious communal tensions?
Did Goa CM Manohar Parrikar disregard the advice of the Intelligence department of the Goa Police and actually allow and permit the presence of controversial speakers in Goa like Sadhvi Saraswati at the All India Hindu Convention in Ponda?
Did the CM veto the report of the Intelligence Wing of the Special Branch of the Goa Police?
Is the Goa CM equally responsible for the communally vitriolic statements made by Sadhvi Sarswati?
CM Manohar Parrikar’s office and the DGP’s office refused to comment on the questions raised by IndiaScribes.com on this issue.
CM Manohar Parrikar and DGP Muktesh Chander were unavailable for comment on this subject and officials in their concerned offices told IndiaScribes.com that they would not like to comment on the story.
The Goa SB had informed the government that Sadhvi Saraswti had several cases pending against her. According to a DNA report based on PTI inputs from Mangalore dated 6 March 2015, a case was filed against VHP leader Sadhvi Balika Saraswati from Madhya Pradesh who was the star speaker at the Hindu Samajotsava held there on March 1 2915 for allegedly disturbing communal harmony through her provocative utterances.
Mangalore Police had said the case has been booked under Sections 153(A) of IPC based on a complaint from Suresh Bhat Bakrabail, Dakshina Kannada District President of Komu Souharda Vedike, an organisation that professes by communal harmony.
Stoking a controversy, the Sadhvi, in her speech, had said in 2015 “People who eat and live in India and praise Pakistan should be hit with shoes and sent to Pakistan.”
She had also said Ram Mandir would be built in Ayodhya and another one in Islamabad and Hindus would go there and offer ‘poojas and archanas’.
“If anyone wants to live in India, he or she will have to say Vande Mataram,” she had said.
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In the complaint lodged at Pandeshwar police station, Bakrabail requested that suitable action be taken against the Sadhvi and the organisers of the Samajotsava for the inflammatory speeches.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Santosh Babu had then said that the Mangaluru South Police Station had also received a complaint from a Muslim organisation about the speech by the Sadhvi. Since there was no provision to register multiple complaints about the same incident, both the complaints would be taken up for investigation together, he had said.
Many police cases have been filed against the organisers of the conclave in its different avatars as well as its speakers in the past.
Was the Goa Government and Goa Police unaware of the antecedents and backgrounds of the speakers and organisers of the event?
How did the Goa Police and State Intelligence Department clear the event and how was police permission given for such a controversial event which had the full potential to disturb communal harmony and public peace.
With controversial publicity-seeking speakers who had already made vitriolic statements in the past with a potential to spark riots or communal unrest, why did the Goa police allow the event?
Did the Goa Police take a bond for good behaviour or bond to maintain public peace taken from the organiers and speakers?
Meanwhile, Sadhvi Saraswati President of the Sanatan Dharma Prachar Seva Samiti of Chhindwara in MP added fuel to the fire raging in Goa over her comments on eating beef by saying she firmly stands by her comments and views on the issue.
The Sadhvi also said her organisation is insisting on the Goa government to “ban” beef in the state.
Speaking to IndiaScribes.com, the Sadhvi said:
I firmly stand by my comments made in my speech. Cow slaughter is banned in India and the cow is a revered, holy animal. Cow is our mother. How can anyone even think of killing and eating your own mother. Goans must understand that they live in Hindustan and not Portugal. They must respect the sentiments of the majority of Indian Hindus. The Sanatan Dharma Prachar Seva Samiti has asked the Goa government and the CM Manohar Parrikar to ban beef in Goa. I reiterate that beef eaters and those who support cow slaughter must be hanged to death.
When queried that it was not cow slaughter that was the bone of contention, but rather cattle slaughter which includes water buffaloes and even goats – the Sadhvi said that Hindustan must be a vegetarian first country.
When told that the Goan economy depends on tourists who relish their beef steaks and beef stew, she said that we must not fall for small things. Instead we must show the world that Hindustan is a vegetarian country. “We are not asking for a ban on fish or mutton or chicken, why only harp on beef,” she asked, adding that in some countries and communities even deer, rabbits, snakes, lizards, turtles and frogs are relished as food.
“Are you going to allow foreigners or foreign tourists to dictate which animals are slaughtered for food in Hindustan. Are you going to allow frogs, snakes, turtles and deer to be killed just because some tourists want to eat frog legs or venison (deer meat), the Sadhvi asked?
When told that pork is not banned even in many Islamic countries, she said she will not comment on the policy decisions of other nations. “I live in Hindustan and my heart beats only for Hindustan,” was her prompt reply.
According to media reports, a Sadhvi attending a conclave of various Hindu outfits in Goa last week had said those who eat beef should be hanged in public, sparking a row amid the raging debate over cattle slaughter and consumption of beef.
The remark made by Sadhvi Saraswati was condemned by the Congress, whose leaders demanded that the BJP-led government in Goa lodge an FIR over the “hate speech” and put her under arrest.
Saraswati, also likened eating beef to “eating one’s own mother.”
“I would recommend the Government of India that those who consider it as a status symbol to eat the meat of one’s own mother should be hanged in public. Then only people will realise that it is our duty to protect ‘gau mata’,” the sadhvi said during the inauguration of the All India Hindu Convention at Ramnathi village in Ponda.
She also exhorted the Hindus to keep arms at their homes to protect themselves.
“If we do not stock arms, we will be destroyed in future,” she said.
“Today Bharat is under attack from all directions. Efforts are being made to separate Kashmir from Bharat and also stop the Amarnath pilgrimage. Bharatmata-Gaumata are under attack,” she added.
Slamming the demand by some political parties to ban the right-wing outfits calling for the creation of the “Hindu rashtra”, she said they should realise that no power in the countrycan prevent the Hindus from establishing the “Hindu Nation.”
She also said “there is no such thing as saffron terrorism,” adding that “saffron means dedicated life for the nation and dharma.”
About 130 Hindu organisations from 21 states and foreign countries including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal are attending the four-day convention, its organisers said.
Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Shantaram Naik said he had raised Saraswati’s speech at the meeting of the Consultative Committee of Home Affairs, presided over by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, held in New Delhi.
Naik said Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who also holds the Home portfolio,should immediately take cognizance of the sadhvi’s statement and put her under arrest.
Otherwise it would be presumed that BJP, including its national leadership, is in agreement with her views, Naik said in a press note.
Reacting to the speeches made at the meet, All India Congress Committee secretary Girish Chodankar questioned the Manohar Parrikar-led state government’s silence over them.
“Statements causing communal hatred are made during the convention. The state government has become a party to the entire programme by maintaining silence and allowing it to continue,” Chodankar alleged.
Chodankar had also questioned Goa Forward Party leader Vijai Sardesai’s silence on the issue.
Sardesai, whose party is now an ally of the ruling BJP, had in the past hit out at the VHP’s claim that it would ban beef in the state.
“Why is he (Sardesai) silent over Sadhvi’s statement promoting violence?” Chodankar asked.
He said the government should have taken cognizance of the sadhvi’s comments on its own and filed an FIR against her for ‘hate speech’.