Wednesday, 30 May 2007


There are times when the Herald reads like a Church rag, but this is something else altogether. A reader sent in this bizzare report written in typically vernacular gush. Keep sending more guys...

Goa Doot, 10/5/2007
Riot-like situation in Margao
Tension over eve teasing
2 arrested at Verna, 3 absconding
Margao, 9 May, Correspondent: A young woman's brother who objected to the teasing of his sister was the subject of a murderous attack by five Muslim youth. In a furious reaction to this, thousands of citizens observed a spontaneous bandh and held a dharna outside the police station demanding arrest of the accused youths. Till late evening, the situation in the city was tense but under control. According to late information, a call has been given for a bandh tomorrow (Thursday) and there is a possibility of normal life being affected.
Today's events in the city evoked memories of last year's Curchorem riots. Furious citizens of Margao targeted some shops in the Gandhi Market, and one began to wonder if Curchorem was going to be repeated here, but the New Market Traders' Association managed to get control over the situation in time.
After Rajesh Cuncolienkar reprimanded youths who were eve-teasing his sister, five Muslim youths from Rumdamol, Davorlim and other places attacked Rajesh with iron rods, soda bottles and knives, and, leaving him covered with blood, fled in an Indica car. Due to this, the entire trader class in the market was enraged. They took a morcha to the police station demanding arrest of the assailants. The shops in the Margao were kept closed after 12 o'clock. As soon as this news spread in Margao, all people in Margao, without bothering about the severe heat, gathered near Pimpalkatta. To express their strong protest over this incident, in the evening thousands of people took out a morcha to the police station shouting slogans and condemning politicians. And they expressed theirstrong determination not to leave the police station until they were arrested. DySP Umesh Gaonkar gave an assurance that they would be arrested by tonight. After that the crowd gathered near Pimpalkatta, awaiting the arrest.
15 days ago in Gogol Housing Board Colony, five Muslim youths had attacked a youth named Pillai. This incident was repeated today in broad daylight and in front of all the shopkeepers. Madgaonkars condemned this in strong words. Rajesh Sitaram Cuncoliemkar has a masala shop in the market, and right next to it is his sister's readymade garments shop.
For the last four days Afzal, a salesman in Gandhi market and resident of Rumdamol, had been teasing the sister. Frightened, she narrated this to Rajesh, who immediately decided to ask Afzal about this. This morning at 10 o'clock when he came here again and started pestering the sister, Rajesh confronted him and they had a verbal argument. Afzal abused him in unprintable terms -- unable to bear this, Rajesh slapped him. After that Afzal went away and after half an hour five youths including came there and immediately attacked Rajesh with rots, bottles and knives.
They threw chilli powder in his eyes. They made a knife attack on him from the backand smashed bottles on both his arms. He was also wounded This attack caused some wounds on the fingers of the assailant. Leaving him in that state they fled in an Indica car.
The sister and others raised a hue and cry and gathered the traders in the market. The president of the Traders' Association, Vinod Shirodkar immediately informed DySP Umesh Gaonkar about the incident and also gave him the number of the Indica car. He also took Rajesh to the hospital.
The police sent the number of the car to all police stations and asked for the car to be stopped. The Traffic Police Interceptor car was near Verna -- it blocked car no GA 01 E 1687 and arrested Mohamed Gawas and Abdul Nabi Shaikh with the vehicle and evidence, while Maqbool, Samir and Abdul are absconding. Police are on their trail.
As soon as news of this incident spread, the atmosphere in Margao became tense and a crowd of 200-300 people collected and asked all the shopkeepers to close their shops in protest against this incident. By 1.30 pm all the shops closed and the crowd moved to the police station and demanded arrest of the assailants. Then they occupied Pimpalkattaand decided to remain at the police station till they were arrested.
By then as soon as this news had spread in Margao and everybody closed the market. The police arrested Chandrakant Pednekar and Guru Borkar and one other who had gone to ask people to close the shops which were still open. As soon as this was known, thousands of people from Margao took a morcha to the police station shouting slogans of protest and demanding their arrest.
Vinod Shirodkar, Rupesh Mahatme, Kaskar, Councillor Raju Shirodkar of the Market Vendors' Association met DySP Umesh Gaonkar and demanded release of these three persons. They charged the police with having picked them up without any reason. They were released after it was made clear that anybody putting pressure on others to close shops would be arrested. But the crowd was not prepared to move away. Vinod Shirodkar and Rupesh Mahatme tried to pacify the crowd but they were not willing to listen. Rajesh Naik, Parodkar and others said that this is a problem of Madgaokars and refused to move away till the assailants were arrested. Unable to convince them even after a long time, they met the DySP again. They demanded a definite assurance on arrest of the assailants, and immediately after receiving an assurance that they would be arrested by night, they left from the police station at 5.30 pm shouting slogans and returned to Pimpalkatta.
Rajesh Naik told the DySP that this is not a traders' issues but that these members of a minority had committed three such incidents. The DySP requested them not to give the issue a religious colour. He said that this is not a religious fight since traders of all religions were with the traders' group.
After today afternoon, the entire city bus transport was closed. As a result, the old bus stand had become an open field. Foodstuffs had got spoilt since the shops had been closed suddenly. This caused losses. And since the buses were not plying people had to go walking. The commuters suffered. The security was tight and good.15 days ago, Muslim youth had attacked a youth called Pillai in the Gogol Housing Board Colony, but the people there foiled this attempt. A youth was arrested and immediately Muslim youth from Davorlim, Gogol, Kharebandh and Moti Dongor gahtered at the police station and fire bullets, but as soon as Margaokars heard of this they gathered at the police station. Seeing them, the Muslim youth fled. This incident was echoed in today's attack. The police were unsuccessful in maintaining law and order in Salcette taluka. Margao citizens are saying that the assailants are getting protection from the police and therefore theiractivities have increased.
When the call for a market bandh to protest the attack was given today, the minority community traders were not ready to close their shops, but seeing the crowd they were forced to do so. People said openly that if the police do not put a stop of the activities of outsiders of the minority community, then Margaokars themselves will jointly put a stop
to their activities and defend the holy land of Sri Damodar with their lives.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, this is frightening! Dharma Yuddha round the corner, or at least Goa Doot would have it so. Isn't such kind of inflammatory stuff illegal? Can't action be taken?

30 May 2007 at 04:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The report is a nasty piece of work, but to say that it is written in 'typical vernacular gush' is no less nasty. It reveals very similar prejudices...

1 June 2007 at 17:53  

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