Letters to Editor

Lots of ideas to make you feel life is worth living! Most visitors are enthralled with the variety of teas (tsang or white silver tea selling at Rs1500 per 100 g, see inset) boxes of kiwi fruit, rice, walnuts, kiwi fruit, turmeric, large cardamom, large knobs of ginger and turmeric…apple wine, ginger wine, kiwi wine if you please at the Arunachal Pradesh stall! If it is Saturday you should catch the last day of this expo at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee AC In-door Stadium at Bambolim, Panaji. Pic shows the guys from Arunachal Pradesh giving away samples …buy some, take some! And it’s time to visit India’s Arunachal Pradesh one of these days.
(Pic by Tara Narayan)

POLICE BRUTES

POLICE brutality and excessive use of force on innocent civilians must stop now. The manner in which an innocent Goan youth, Melvin Coelho, was assaulted by PSI Stanley Gomes in a dark room and his ears damaged, brings to light the kind of police force we have. If in frustration Melvin had reciprocated by counter-attacking the PSI, I think the whole Margao police force would have pounced and killed him.
Is this the kind of police force we have? Melvin didn’t deserve the third degree treatment he was put through. Since our Goans go for employment abroad there is a culture of blackmailing Goans by police, that if they pursue any case their chances of working abroad will be hampered. With such fears, many never even file cases or pursue existing ones.
Police forget that they live off taxpayer’s money and they have no right to assault and abuse civilians. This latest assault also brings to mind how seafarer Rudolf was so badly beaten, his hair pulled off, and he died in Panjim police custody. Why do police become beasts and monsters doing their jobs? If you ask around there will be hundreds of testimonies from people who have faced the brute force of policemen not fit to be called policemen! They put off people so that they are afraid to come and report even to media people, they know that no FIR will be filed if it is against the police. Will the media take cognisance of this?
If people don’t come forward this state of affairs will get worse and worse and more innocent citizens will pay the price by getting attacked and killed. The Constitution of India does not give anyone the right to attack and kill! The police are not above the law. People are losing faith and trust in the police force.
The newly appointed DGP and also Margao superintendent should immediately register an FIR against the aforementioned PSI and arrest him to restore any public faith. He has no moral right to remain as a policeman. He is worse than a goon because of his atrocities committed. If the top brass in Goa police force don’t take notice of such incidents the Supreme Court should take suo moto cognisance and deliver justice to the victim.
— Jo Dias, Chandor

OMICRON VARIANT
THE latest corona virus variant Omicron has originated in Botswana although it was first detected in South Africa. In a space of two days it spread from 14 countries to 24 countries at the fast rate of 70% in two days. The number of cases reported so far are not very high, but is estimated to triple in South Africa by the end of this week and has infected toddlers to the extent of 10% in the same country.
The infection by and large has been mild and not very alarming. Being early days no fatalities have been reported. Most people with weak immunity and comorbidity have succumbed and vaccination rates which are at the highest now are affording protection. Though the vaccines available and in use are not stereo specific to this variant and have been reported to be not very effective in providing enough protection.
Since in the colder countries in Europe it is winter time the likelihood of a higher degree of spread is expected. The most significant fact is Omicron variant spread is dependent on measures taken to curb its spread, for example, travel restrictions, contact tracing, social distancing, wearing of masks, people being discreet about their movements and taking adequate precautions by maintaining a high degree of immunity, by vaccination, immunity boosters as well as robust natural immunity measures.
India should take extreme precautions to prevent the spread of this variant.
— Elvidio Miranda, Panaji

CRIMINAL POLITICIANS
THE consistent efforts of the Supreme Court to cleanse the political turf of criminally tainted politicians, has not yet borne fruits. The Court has advised that political parties should not give tickets to the tainted and those facing criminal charges should not be inducted as ministers.
India’s smallest state is a classic example. Panchayat Minister Mauvin Godinho is the prime accused in the 2001 infamous multi-crore power scam case in which the late Manohar Parrikar was the complainant. Panaji MLA Babush Monserrate and Revenue Minister Jennifer Monserrate are the prime accused in the 2008 storming and stoning of the Panaji police station. Besides , Babush Monserrate still faces charges of having raped a minor girl. It is a sordid state of affairs when those we elect and entrust to legislate good laws, themselves violate the laws!
Politics cannot be a safe haven for criminals. To the contrary, those who make the laws ought to practice a higher degree of responsibility and accountability as role models in society. Alas, our politicians do not set an example and the result is an erosion of the trust all around. People are losing their trust in politics as means of good governance and a failing judicial system – in which the laws of the land are flouted by those who think they are above the law!
— Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar
GOVERNMENT PROCLAMATION!
THE Goa government has issued a proclamation to hand over complete jurisdiction of 3.56 lakh sq mts in Dhargal, earmarked for a casino owner, to the IPFB. They invited objections in 30 days. Delta Corp, involved in offshore casinos in Goa, have never worked to shift from the Mandovi, despite the government demanding it. It is not a trustworthy company.
The amusement park proposal by them can be approved if they have their own land. Since this large tract of prime land, five kilometres from Mopa airport, is provided by the government, taken over from the public/communidade for a steal, surely the government must call for an expression of interest and not just favour one party – that too, Delta Corp?
This project is like Genting Resort in Malaysia. It will rival a mini-Disneyland. Even China has a Disneyland, so why not get the best? The project also envisages land casinos. There is no law for land casinos: How is Delta privy to this knowledge? How did the government approve the same?
AAP “joined” the Old Goa protests “after the people acted.” TMC is still rooted. They only pick issues convenient to them. They are silent on the Dhargal project. They will not even file objections. Only the public must object to all this in vast numbers: The government we know is an expert magician in making files and individual objections vanish! Question AAP and TMC!
— R Fernandes, Margao

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