PANJIM: Reiterating that the acts of desecration of religious structures have been “well planned”, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday ruled out handing over the probe into the incidents to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and expressed full confidence in the State police to crack the cases, reports the Herald.
Speaking to Herald after his return from a US tour, Parrikar said there is no point in handing over the cases to CBI, when the Goa Police are fully involved in the investigation. “Remember, that this is a crime done by someone with proper planning and CBI won’t be able to solve it,” he said.
“The desecration of crosses and other religious structures is an ongoing criminal activity and it is not something that is closed. CBI is not an organisation capable of handling these types of cases. CBI is not a solution,” the Chief Minister said expressing full confidence in the State Police.
Parrikar, who holds the Home portfolio, said there are more than 500 police personnel from various agencies investigating the cases. “Being a planned act, it is not that easy. We will have to give some time to the police and I am confident that they will crack the case,” he said.
Asked whether the police have managed to gain any leads in the cases, Parrikar refused to comment saying, “I cannot reveal investigation details.”
Earlier on Friday, the Chief Minister met Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo, who has been pitching strongly for a CBI inquiry. Lobo expressed his displeasure in the manner the police are investigating the case. “I have explained to Lobo the situation and told him to have confidence in our police,” Parrikar said.
When contacted, Lobo said, “Chief Minister wants us to give some time to police and also provide all support.”
The Calangute MLA said he asked the Chief Minister to ensure that these incidents, which are an attack on religious sentiments, do not affect communal harmony in the State.
Several gravestones, crosses and even temple structures have been vandalized over the last two weeks in South Goa, even as police are groping in the dark over the motive and people behind the act. The government has set up a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to crack the cases, however, there has been no success till date.
Keeping in mind the sensitive nature of the cases and possibility of communal unrest, the government has already roped in the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and the cyber cell of Goa Police into the investigation. IRB platoons have also been deployed at various places.
Meanwhile, in Margao TCP Minister Vijai Sardesai claimed that there was a defined pattern to the desecration that aimed to target him, while trying to create a chaos in the State.
“I believe it is a conspiracy to destabilise the disparate parties that have come together and formed a coalition government for the development of Goa and Goenkaarponn,” the minister said.