By Rajan Narayan

AND a few stray thoughts for yet another Saturday. For a Saturday following the week when Mickky Pacheco raised the question on the citizenship of Aleixo Sequeira. For a Saturday following the week when Goans were not very keen on Portuguese citizenship since they could not go to the UK. For a Saturday following the week when the birth anniversary of the late Manohar Parrikar was celebrated at his samadhi at Miramar beach. For a Saturday following the week when the BJP set a new example by choosing first-time MLAs from the backward classes as chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh. For a Saturday following the week when I completed almost two months at the GMC fighting spinal TB.
AND a few stray thoughts on Mickky Pacheco raising questions about the Indian citizenship of Aleixo Sequeira, Minister for Law & Legislative Affairs. Mickky alleges that Alexio Sequeira has registered his birth in Portugal. According to the latest directives of the External Affairs Ministry if any Goan registered his birth in Portugal he is automatically disqualified from holding Indian citizenship. Mickky has pointed out that only Indian citizens are eligible to contest elections for the Goa assembly. Moreover, no citizen of Portugal may be made a minister in the Goa cabinet.
The issue of Goans registering their birth in the UK has become more acute with the central government declaring all those who registered their birth in Lisbon automatically disqualified from Indian citizenship. Earlier they had announced citizenship of India only when the Portuguese passport was cancelled. Aleixo Sequiera has denied the allegation strongly saying that he has renounced citizenship of India. It is something that EDC should check with the Portugal Consulate in Goa. Not just Alexio Sequiera but a number of politicians including Churchill Alemao is reported to have registered the birth of his children in Portugal.
When the Portuguese were forced to leave Goa after Liberation they wanted to maintain some hold on Goa. So the Portuguese government decided that not only Goans born before Liberation in 1961 but their children and grandchildren would also be entitled to Portugal citizenship. A lot of Goans applied for Portuguese citizenship not because of any love for Portugal but because registering their birth in Lisbon would permit them to get a Portuguese work permit.
Since the UK was part of the European Economic Community (EEC) this enables them to work anywhere in the EEC European countries including in the UK. ‘
However, that window has been plugged for some time now as the UK is no longer a part of the EEC. Goans prefer to go to the UK because here there is no language barrier as the language spoken in the UK is English. Unlike other European countries which guard have mother tongues such as France and Germany. The number of Goans who registered their birth in Lisbon is reported to cross over a lakh. Only last year over 10,000 Goans were reported to have registered their birth in Lisbon.
But not only politicians but several bureaucrats are also reported to have registered their birth in Lisbon. After Liberation, Goans were automatically conferred Indian citizenship. Except for the few Goans renounced their Portuguese citizenship. Only a few die-heart paklo Goans like Fr Monteiro insisted in retaining Portuguese citizenship. Mickky Pacheco was even sent to jail for this offense. However, he was suspended and he clung on to his Portuguese citizenship.
Now that Mickky Pacheco has raised the question on Aleixo Sequeira for his Indian citizenship, the Law & Judiciary Minister should prove that he never registered his birth in Portugal or renounced his Indian citizenship.
Curiously, Ireland which is part of Great Britain has not given up its membership of the European Economic Community. So much so Goans who want to settle in English-speaking countries are increasingly preferring to go to Ireland.
AND a few stray thoughts on the birth anniversary of the late Manohar Parrikar which was celebrated by the State government on December 13 2023 at his samadhi at Miramar beach. We thought that the Goa government and Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had forgotten all about the former defense minister’s birth anniversary. However, Pramod Sawant owes his position to Manohar Parrikar. Manohar Parrikar ignored senior leaders of the BJP party like Laxmikant Parsekar to make Pramod Sawant the chief minister of Goa.
The birth anniversary was marked by the CM’s visit to the samadhi of Manohar Parrikar at Miramar beach in capital city Panaji. Parrikar is the second chief minister after Goa’s first chief minister, Dayanand Bandodkar, to be cremated at Miramar beach. Surprisingly nobody raised the question of CRZ and whether the remains of eminent Goans may be cremated at the public beach at Miramar. Or if there is any pollution issue of bodies are allowed to be cremated on the sands of Miramar beach (it’s something traditional which happened in the old days) for anyone.
The Parrikar family is only following the precedent set by the Dayanand Bandodkar family when he died. He was Goa’s first much loved chief minister and he was cremated at Miramar beach with a memorial Samadhi installed. Manohar Parrikar’s birthday is also celebrated as Empowering Science Day. Has the day been instituted for young scientists because of Manohar Parrikar’s commitment to science and technology?
An award has gone to young scientist Dr Mathavaraj S of the UR Rao Satellite Centre of ISRO, for designing the landing pad on the moon in the recent space journey to the moon. Now Manohar Parrikar has several institutions named after him in Goa.
Parrikar is most remembered for the surgical strike he wanted against Pakistan. It was a very tense moment for him as he had to ensure the safe return of the Indian soldiers. He resigned as defense minister after the surgical strike operation because he discovered that he was suffering from cancer of the pancreas. Manohar Parrikar used to be a very heavy smoker. When he stopped smoking he switched to chewing tobacco which is an even worse thing to do. Manohar Parrikar was certainly an outstanding chief minister. Manohar Parrikar had Goa’s best interests at heart and he resisted all attempts to inflict saffronization on Goa.

AND a few stray thoughts on gang wars resuming in Goa. In the recent gang war incident an attack took place on Suryakant Kambli alias Surya, a resident of Taleigao aged 55, the attack left him with multiple facial injuries near a bar in Tonca, Caranzalem on December 11, 2023. He already has a series of criminal cases registered against him at different police stations. Kambli was brutally attacked by two unidentified masked men who assaulted him using a sharp weapon on Monday evening.
He is undergoing treatment at the GMC and Sub-Divisional Police Officer Sudesh Naik says he out of danger, it is being claimed that the investigation team will soon zero in on the accused. “We have got certain leads, which will take us to the assailants. One sharp weapon has been recovered from the crime scene. The accused will soon be arrested.”
Kambli has several cases of gang fights registered against him at Panaji, Calangute and other police stations in North Goa. He has also been affiliated with other notorious criminals like Imran Bepari, Suraj Shetye and Tarzan Parsekar among others.
Asked about the motive behind the attack, SDPO Naik said they are ascertaining the exact reason, however, preliminary investigation reveals the attack was due to “rivalry.” “He is currently out of danger.” Surya sustained grievous injuries in the attack which required 50 stitches on his face. The police and forensic team collected blood samples and other evidence from the crime scene. “An FIR is already registered. More details will be available as the investigation progresses and the accused are taken into custody,” an officer stated.
Perhaps Goa is returning to the gad old days when gangs led by Rudolf Fernandes and Popat terrorised Goa. In the south, there were other gangs which looted and assaulted people in day light. It is to the credit of former chief minister Ravi Naik that he dealt with gangs in Goa very firmly. It may be recalled when he was the CM in the 90s he cracked down on all criminal elements. Ravi Naik was the first to arrest Churchill Alemao under the National Security Act. Ravi Naik also picked up Rudolf Fernandes and Mummy Dearest who were amongst criminal elements engaged in warfare.
Ironically, Rudolf Fernandes is now the MLA of Santa Cruz. The Churchill brothers terrorised south Goa for over two decades. Particularly when Churchill Alemao was the chief minister. It may be recalled that Churchill’s brother Alvernaz was caught allegedly smuggling gold from the Ramada beach. Customs officer Costao Fernandes jumped through the window of a moving Contessa car. In the daring car fight that followed Alvernaz Alemao died.
Subsequently, the Alemao family filed a case with CBI for murder against Costao Fernandes. Costao was in fact convicted by the High Court. Finally in the appeal the Supreme Court dismissed the High Court order convicting Costao Fernandes and subsequently he got the President’s gold medal for bravery.

AND a few stray thoughts on the new bill as amendment to the Indian Penal Court. It was sent to parliament for approval, the new bill in the criminal procedure code which does not make adultery and unnatural sex as crimes. Disregarding the recommendations of a parliamentary panel, the government has stuck to its decision to exclude Section 377 of IPC, which related to unnatural sex against the order of nature, and Section 497, relating to adultery, from the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill, 2023 — introduced in Lok Sabha on December 12, 2023. The two sections have been taken down by the Supreme Court.
The SC decriminalised adultery in 2018 while it continues to be a ground for divorce. The same year, it decriminalised consensual sex between same-sex couples. If the BNS Bill 2023 is passed by Parliament in its current form then both sections of IPC-377 and IPC-497 already passed by the Supreme Court will cease to exist.
The BNS Bill however added a new Section 73 to the provisions dealing with offences against women and children, making revealing of identity or information related to victims of rape and sexual offences from court proceedings punishable with imprisonment of up to two years.
“Whoever prints or publishes any matter in relation to any proceeding before a court with respect to an offence referred to in Section 72 without the previous permission of such court shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine,” Section 73 reads.”
However, it is explained that printing or publication of the judgment of the Supreme Court or any high court will not be construed as an offence within the meaning of this section. Section 72 prohibits printing or publishing material revealing the identity of a victim of sexual offence.
The government has, meanwhile, accepted the Standing Committee’s recommendation on doing away with the alternative punishment for murder by mob lynching — proposed as not less than seven years in Clause 101(2) of the original BNS Bill — and made it at par with punishment for murder.
As per the revised provision, now numbered as Section 103(2), when a group of five or more persons acting in concert commit murder on the ground of race, caste or community, sex, place of birth, language, personal belief or any other similar ground, each member of such group shall be punished with death or with imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on home affairs led by Brij Lal, in its report tabled in Parliament on December 4, sought the inclusion of Section 377 in its read down avatar wherein non-consensual sexual acts of unnatural order against men, women and transgender persons are still prosecuted under this section.
In its recommendations, the committee said even after the SC read down the section, “provisions of Section 377 remain applicable in cases of non-consensual carnal intercourse with adults, all acts of carnal intercourse with minors, and acts of bestiality. However, in the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023 no provision for non-consensual sexual offence against male, female, transgender and for bestiality has been made.”
It suggested that “to align with the objectives stated in the BNS, which highlights the move towards gender-neutral offences, it is mandatory to reintroduce and retain Section 377 of IPC.”
On the issue of adultery in its recommendations the Committee noted that the Supreme Court in 2018 struck down Section 497 of IPC as it violated provisions of the Constitution and held that this law was archaic, arbitrary and paternalistic and infringed upon a woman’s autonomy, dignity and privacy. The Court also held that the provisions under this section only penalised the married man, and reduced the married woman to be a property of her husband.
However, the Committee asserted that “the institution of marriage is considered sacred in Indian society and there is a need to safeguard its sanctity. For the sake of protecting the institution of marriage, this section should be retained in the Sanhita by making it gender neutral.”
AND a last stray thoughts on my being forced to acknowledge that I have grown older this year. Not only older but sicker as TB bacteria are after my spine. As a result I can barely move my hands and feet. I cannot even hold a book or a newspaper. I cannot sign any cheques. Effectively I am a cripple but my mind and my memory remain unaffected by the physical deficits I am suffering for. I am promised that I will recover with the TB medicine. However, the medicines have very savage side effects.
Though the medical supervision and TB antibiotics are free I am still spending Rs75,000 per month, much of this goes towards hiring two attendants, one with me by day and another by night. My better three-quarters is not in a position to be with me at all times in hospital and we have no relatives who are useful in times of sickness. The “Goan Observer” in its goanobserver.in online avatar continues to come out despite me being in hospital and from where I try to dictate my cover story and Stray Thoughts to my secretary, Heena.

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