Monday, 31 March 2008


Hey, you guys, read the 'quote of the day' under the header REFLECTIONS?
Got it? It says, "Good things happen to those who hustle"
And we must congratulate the Gomantak Times for trying so so so hard to live up to its preachings. Good things really must happen to the fellas who 'hustle' in GT.... Like this guy responsible for plagiarising this editorial... wonder what good came to him?
Here's more plagiarism from the Sakal stable. Looks like these guys make a habit of it.
This editorial has been completely plagiarised from an article written by Janna Anderson in the 'News and Observer' dated November 11, 2007.
This scan we have reproduced is from GT's November edition. November 13 to be exact. Only a couple of days after the plagiarised editorial we caught. A bit dated, yes but still worth a post cause we really do not know if Sakal penalised the guy responsible for the earlier plagiarised editorial.

We did write to Gomantak Times editor Derek on January 17, 2008, on whether he could inform us of any developments after we exposed plagiarism in the newspaper's editorials.
Derek had stated that he had referred the matter to the Sakal headquarters in Pune, but there has been no response from him since. So here's what you can do, if you are convinced with what we've written.
Call these numbers and register your protest. You can also get the other side of the story from them if you wish to.
020-24405500 Pune Head office
Editor Goa edition: Derek Almeida 9850209604

Friday, 28 March 2008


It's one of Republican candidate John McCain's fav jokes, but we'll just tweak it a bit to our advantage...
QUESTION: What's the difference between a cat-fish and journo?
ANSWER: One is a low-life, bottom-feeding scum-sucker; the other's a fish."

We did tell you a few days ago that we'd do another post illustrating concerns expressed by Preetu Nair on how a "few local journos and their editors play host to a corrupt system". We've managed to fish out more for you this time.
Its about this journo called hmm... Mr P, who's just hopped jobs from a newspaper with small circulation to a newspaper, that's just about set to munch them all.
We think we've mentioned Mr P sometime back on the blog too... Just that Preetu's recent observation has made us put some information available with us into proper context.
This Mr P hails from the coast in Bardez. Oh its a great place to be in. Cops love the coast for the moolah they can rake in. They love a posting here... Raking in the pennies and the pounds plus, few awards here and there, for all the 'meritorious' work put in during the tourist season. Some of us journos follow the same path of success... Mr P has been doing the same all this while.
So what was this Coastal Regulatroy Zone (CRZ) blackmail racket, we talked about... No no you thought wrong, Claude has nothing to do with it... Its about this same Mr P...
See, sometime back a particular English language newspaper decided to run a series on CRZ violations along the coast. Mr P thought it a great opportunity to cruise along.
The strategy he adopted was simple enough. A real win-win strategy.
You narrow down on a genuine CRZ violation. You then approach the owner of the property and offer him a deal. The deal is two pronged.
1) My newspaper is doing this story on CRZ violations. The CRZ violations you have committed is a story enough for me. Gimme an X amount of money and I will drop the story. or
2) If you don't gimme the money, I'll run the story anyway. And maybe line up for an award somewhere down the line.
We know of two instances where Mr P has approached guys who have violated the CRZ norms in Bardez. They were offered the same proposition we have stated above with some variations. In one instance, Mr P actually asked for a residential flat instead of money for dropping a story, while in the other case Mr P asked for an X amount of money and a car.
Its really Preetu's timely observation, that gave us an opportunity to contextualise this input, else folks would have interpreted this as some kind of a witch-hunt.
One more thing, we dunno if you noticed this guys... ever since we put up the notice, that we are coming with up with this 'CRZ and the art of blackmail' post, we've received a hell of lot abuse. More than the usual. We suspect, that it was Mr P himself trying to psyche us out of this post. Its there for you to see, a lot of a Fs & Bs which we did not approve, but there's still a truckload of brickbats we've received since that post...
Hey thats fine with us... while bouquets make us blush, brickbats only make us tougher. So keep em coming.
As an after-thought... We think despite all the whetting by the HR dept, Derrick the TOI Goa editor doesn't know what he's got on his plate. Barring Paul Fernandes (one nice guy we know for sure. There might be a few others too. Very few), a messy lot has slipped into their reporting team, including a very very dicey trinity. And imagine a reporter's desk led by a guy like Raju Nayak. Phew... You could actually play a few mixed doubles tennis teams with the number of raqueteers TOI has unfortunately roped in...


Looks like the mother-lawyer are working on a big scam. Fiona has already got free tickets from Virgin's Richard Branson and from the way things are working out, she could be at a fund raising for the trial, quite on the lines of the Madelaine MacCann case in Portugal (MacCan received a fat purse from Branson to pursue the case). Are Fiona and Vikram Varma following the same footprints.

Thursday, 27 March 2008


It's ironical but not entirely difficult to understand why support for Fiona MacKeown comes mainly from people who havent' met her, or personally watched her and her lawyer team in action.For some of us who have, its difficult to miss the disingenuity, after the initial two encounters. For one --- the team of Fiona MacKeown and her Indian lawyer Vikram Varma ---- are a tad too media savvy. They have worked and manipulated the media in their campaign, with a great deal of shrewd finesse.
The type of finesse, one notices these days with political parties who stage dharnas and vocal protests only after ensuring that every single TRP-hungry electronic media troupe are in attendance, to capture their simulated "anger" and air it live on television. The protest is faked and the anger is faked, and for those who have to watch such insincerity "go places", the display is disturbing.
It's this sort of posturing that makes the Fiona/Vikram Varma campaign a little insincere, and them more than a little suspect. As a fellow British media person covering the Scarlett case and her mother's "campaign" put it --- there are no angels in this script.
When Fiona MacKeown's campaign was just picking up, she already had Britain's Sky television crew trailing her. Between Varma and herself, they made sure there was enough simulated "action" to capture. So Varma would arrive at the state secretariat earlier and keep the media briefed about Fiona's imminent arrival. When she arrived in a Maruti Esteem, seven smaller children in tow, barefoot and one of them shirtless --- the camera's whirred. The family obliged with some of the angles and postures necessary for television. So did the lawyer.
The media, especially the British media, trailing her were led to government offices, where meeting were not even scheduled and the resultant long wait was posited as some more "examples" of a hard hearted administration that was "harassing the mother". It soon became apparent that the British media were being sold this story a lot more often than the national or local media. For obvious reasons.
TheScarlett case was a British cause celebre and Fiona was cast in the role of avenging mother fighting for justice from a corrupt police and insensitive government.
When the first arrest was made, based on Fiona's insistence on rape and murder charges, the British press were told police had picked up the wrong man, "small fry", to shied the bigger ones. British radio stations began calling up local journalists seeking quotes to butress claims that "the Goa police were unreliable, and given to catching anybody and framing them". The first man was arrested for statutory rape, since senior officials on the case believed the sexual acts had been consentual. With the second arrest, and murder charges levied against two individuals, Fiona continued talking about a "cover up and larger cover up", going on to levy accusations against the home minister and DGP.
The evening Fiona got her summons to depose in the case at the Panaji police station, British media persons were "presold" the story by Fiona's team that she was going to be "targeted" by police and "arrested for negligence". The British media and an Indian news agency playing ball, already ran stories of her imminent arrest and targeting by the Goa administration. When she wasn't and it was just a routine recording of a statement, there were no retractions and the Goa administration was further villianised.
Varma told the media, that the police had not dared to arrest her because of the large media presence. By now, it was becoming obvious even to more loyal members of the British media ---who had united uncritically and unquestioningly behind Fiona --- that they were being manipulated rather adroitly. "The Fiona is going to be arrested" episode was not the only sleigh of hand.
British press persons are being regularly sold stories of how Fiona was being threatened, how she was offered money for her silence, and most recently that she is forced to go underground because she had exposed the drug nexus --- all of these allegations suitably vague and cleverly unsourced. British Michael Mannion aka Masala Mike --- the man who left Scarlett to her fate --- addressed the press on how it was so difficult for a witness to give a statement in a "civilised society". When pressed, he said he had no quarrel with the Goa police, but had perceived (not actually been threatened, mind you) a threat from his former Goan buddies!!!
It's these numerous sleigh of hands to stay in the media spotlight -- this constant shifting of the goalposts to keep the media constantly engaged with a new angle, a new twist, a fresh new allegation of cover up, larger cover up, drug link, home minister-DGP involvement, CBI enquiry, court challenge, going into hiding, under threat from fresh new villains etc etc ---- that rings the Fiona MacKeown portrait of an avenging mother as untrue. Sincerity is an intangible trait, but most people can pick up insincerity. To make errors of judgement is forgivable, to be calm and stoic in the face of personal grief is understandable --- but to display no motherly remorse can be very telling indeed. So far Fiona MacKeown has expressed no remorse or criticism for her own failings --- she holds herself above reproach, while everyone else in the script is blameworthy.
The inconsistencies and "coverups" are too many to sustain belief. Scarlett was no drinker or drug taker according to her mother ---- the statements of too many people and friends of Scarlett have belied this. Scarlett was left only for a few days with boyfriend Julio Lobo, Fiona had said. When Ms MacKoewn realised that it was culturally unacceptable for a mother to consent to her 15 year old's live-in relationship, she adroitly changed the story to "I left her with Julio's Catholic aunts". Fiona glossed over details ---- forgetting to tell the press that Scarlette had been left with no money or mobile over three weeks she stayed with Julio and they were in Gokarn. Or that her other small children were often left alone at Curlie's.
For media establishments chasing eyeballs, the sensational accusations of Fiona MacKeown are just what the doctor prescribed. Critical judgement is suspended.
Having said all this, it is hoped that the higher echelons of the police also move to retain credibility. If there were more macho men than the two arrested--- who took advantage of a reckless minor girl that night, in the feudal Indian belief that fallen women are fair game --- they should be arrested and tried. If there were no more actively involved, the police should be able to say this with conviction, rather than leave it to media speculation.
The obvious "boys club" mentality that resulted in the initial cover-up by the Anjuna police, in seeming collaboration with the coroner, has disgraced the police and the state, exposing its flanks. If it is to recover its image even somewhat, justice must not only be done, butseen to be done as well. There should be no compromise on that. (ends)

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


We found this on the net. We almost mistook GTDC chairman Shyam Satardekar for one of those leopards which are on the prowl in Goa. They say it doesn't take long for a politician to change his spots... doesn't take him long to put them on either.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008


You see, this is precisely the reason why we think twice before we trust THE NAVHIND TIMES. When a newspaper screams 'Easter bells are Peeling', how can you take it seriously. Do these guys realise how stupid a newspaper looks especially with a gaffe like this? Time again.... They do this time and again fellas...
Check out this easter story probably filed by some desk hack titled 'Peeling bells, masses usher in Easter'
So, if bells peel according to TNT, do walls peal then?

Sunday, 23 March 2008


It happens once, you call it a coincidence.
It happens again you shrug you shoulders, reluctantly perhaps, but
still let it pass.
It happens the third time, you catch it by the balls and not let go.
Guys, its time to lash out.
The volume of suspect and shady reportage in the Scarlett Keeling murder has crossed every limit of tolerance. Its too naive to conclude that a section of the media has failed to see through the compromised forensic, doc Silvano Sapeco's smoke screen. Its too foolish to assume that the media simply swallows what Sapeco has fed them.
There appears to be a mercenary element involved here.
The combined reportage of CNN-IBN and The Navhind Times has defied reason a bit too many times.

We have raised this issue a couple of times earlier in these two posts
Then there was a lull for a few days. The arrival of the viscera report has spurred Rauf Baig and Pramod Acharya of CNN-IBN to file another flurry of plants all emanating from Dr Silvano Sapeco, the same forensic whose shady and bizarre first and autopsy report was nothing short of a compromised piece of document.
The fresh batch of stories includes this misleading story on CNN-IBN. The story aims to bolster an earlier false story the channel tried to sell to its readers/viewers. The story had tried to peddle the same ridiculous logic that the Navhind Times had also resorted to earlier, that Dr Sapeco had "orally" informed the cops about the homicide, after submitting his first autopsy report, which attributed Scarlett's death due to drowning.
The latest story tries to add another spin to viscera report. While the cops had never maintained that Scarlett's death was due to drug overdose, the story claims that cops had stated so earlier and that latest developments had proved otherwise. The report tries to resurrect lies which the channel's representatives had given birth to earlier.
Then there is the latest report in The Navhind Times which again tries its level best to save Dr Sapeco's skin by lying again in exactly the same manner CNN-IBN has. Read the last link to see how the Navhind Times has lied through its teeth from day one while reporting this issue.
Questions must be asked of these two news organisations.
To let them go scot-free for this wilful squelching and tampering of facts would not bode well for the media in Goa.

Saturday, 22 March 2008


Imagine this scenario.
Things are not going well... Standards are rotting away. A big fish has entered your small pond and is doing its best to poach your fellas away. So you put out an ad in your own newspaper seeking fresh talent to arrest ...

And so you put out this ad. An ad? You call this an ad? More like a grubby sticker pinned to a garbage bin.
How can this be allowed to happen?
Look at the amount of mistakes in this ad guys. It was published in February, when TOI first started feeling out people in the Herald.
Tell us guys, how can a newspaper call for candidates with a command over the English language, when they word the sentence this way?
"Candidates should be a graduates in any stream with a thorough knowledge of correct English"
"CORRECT ENGLISH"????? And "a graduates"?
Who drafted this ad? Raul?


Hey fellas should have told you guys this earlier... Harry Mann is back. He's brought a few more with a few more Filipinos with him... Someone run a count for us... The ratio of Filipino's vis a vis locals in the newspaper's administrative/marketing set up. Would be a nice figure to have..

Wednesday, 19 March 2008


Guys, you've read about this spat between Miguel Braganza and Preetu Nair?
There's one valid point that Preetu makes in her comment, while responding to Miguel.
"Fortunately, readers are quick to realize that much of what goes on in the tourist paradise of Goa goes unreported because a few local journos and their editors play host to the corrupt system."
Preetu is bang on in her claims that some local journos and editors are hand in glove with the corrupt system and its rich tourism fringe. This post is dedicated to one such coastal journo who over the years has managed to use an English language newspaper as a ready nursery for his 'planted' stories, i.e. whenever he files them. There is a bigger profit to reap if you are not filing stories too... we'll come to that later. But first allow us to substantiate Preetu's point.
Some days ago, this story appeared in the Gomantak Times.
The story appears to be a manifestation of what exactly Preetu seems to have been alleging.
This is the controversial story....

Calangute MLA cracks
whip at ANC cops
PANJIM: Calangute MLA Agnelo Fernandes has become a hero and saviour for an elderly foreigner, after he directed the Anti Narcotic Cell (ANC) cops to return the money they allegedly robbed from her.
It is reportedly learnt that this English lady came down to Goa on a holiday and put up at a hotel in Candolim. Late one evening, while she was dining at a restaurant and puffing away on her cigar, a pair of cops in civil clothes suddenly accosted her and ordered the elderly lady to follow them.
The two men then took her to a dark corner and frisked her on suspicion that she was smoking charas. Finding nothing on her person, they then checked her wallet and discovered 800 Euros. The duo then frightened the daylights out of the English lady and threatened to get her arrested on charges of smoking narcotics. The elderly woman pleaded and cried that she was innocent, but the cops were unrelenting.
The cops then did the unthinkable. They struck a bargain. They made the lady cough up the 800 Euros and also promise not to report the matter to any authority. The ANC cops then did the vanishing trick, leaving behind an uncontrollably weeping Britisher.
After she re-entered the restaurant wailing, other guests surrounded her and inquired what the matter was. On learning about the incident, they informed the restaurant owner. And a delegation of foreigners and local from the area called on the Calangute MLA and narrated the incident to him.
Fernandes then immediately directed the Calangute police to inquire about the case. On probing into the matter, the Calangute police found out that the duo were from the ANC.
The MLA immediately summoned the notorious cops and after giving them a severe dressing down, asked them to apologise to the British lady and give her money back. And the cops shamefully did as they were ordered.
Speaking to GT, Fernandes said: “I will not tolerate such nonsense in my constituency, as such incidents will severely affect tourism in the area. I made sure the erring cops returned the 800 Euros to the Britisher." "If the ANC officers are serious about doing their job, then they should swoop down on the drug dealers, who they are well aware of, and nab them," the Calangute MLA added.

Read it? Its been a long time since we've featured a plug, that plumbs such depths. But one thing you've got to admit, this plug really makes no bones about it. It announces itself to you right from the first line.
We'll come to the loopholes in the story soon.
The only obvious drift of this story is to glorify Calangute MLA Agnelo Fernandes. To offer guys like Agnelo (or any other MLA whose righteousness matches or surpasses Agnelo's) an opportunity to abuse a newspaper is criminal. Who filed this story? The byline say GT TEAM? Was it really filed by more than one person? If more than one person was involved, where is the secondary input. From the looks of it, the story at best is a 'one conversation' wonder... If it is not a team story and filed by a solitary chap, why is the story credited to the GT TEAM?
We were just making our way into the story. Now, allow us to point out to the issues we have a problem with in this story.
1) Does an MLA have the power/authority to give the cops a 'dressing down'?
2) Does an MLA have the power/authority to 'settle' criminal cases?
3) Where is the quote of the woman who was harassed? She has a name, doesn't she?
4) Why aren't the notorious cops named?
5) Why has no quote been sought from the police department, considering the story's claims that the cops had not only sought bribes, but also attempted to plant drugs on the tourist.

Preetu claims that stories are blocked by journos who play host to a corrupt system, there are times when one finds percentage in filing such plugs too.
The facts of this story are suspect. The intent of the journalist/s who filed this story is suspect. Why Gomantak Times carried this story is suspect.
The news editor Ashley or the editor Derek need to ask themselves, how this slipped through.
Or maybe its too late cause the fella/s who wrote this have already slipped into the Times of India.
Like we've been saying guys... Preetu really raised a valid point. Hope we have carried it some distance forward.
(COMING UP SOON... another manifestation of Preetu's concerns A coastal journo's 'campaign' against Coastal Regulation Zone violations and the art of blackmail)

If you are convinced with what we’ve written out here, do call these numbers and speak your mind to these guys. Place your protest on record. Or you could also call them, if you want to listen to their side of the story... here are some numbers...
Gomantak Time editor Derek Almeida -- 08322422701/2 or write to


Change in guard has obviously not meant much to guys working at the Herald. The newspaper appears to have made tolerating plagiarism a sort of a policy. While earlier it was featues and editorials, hard news and breaking stories are also been plagiarised by the newspaper.
Take a look at this story filed by Herald's "Mumbai Correspondent". The story has been lifted from a story filed by the ZEE news bureau. Read it to figure it out yourself.

Mumbai court declares Sanjay’s marriage invalid
Sanjay Dutt and Manyata’s ‘marriage’ is in further trouble. A Mumbai court today declared the divorce of Manyata and her first husband Meraj-Ur-Rahman null and void. The court announced that Manyata is still Meraj-Ur-Rahamn’s wife and declared her second marriage null and void, as she did not divorce her first husband.
Meraj‘s advocate Tasneem Shaikh had argued earlier, on March 11, that according to Muslim divorce laws, the ‘khulla’ method (under which a woman approaches her husband for divorce as against man giving ‘talaq’ to his wife) required the husband to ‘release’ the wife. ‘Khulla’ can also be challenged in a court of law if it is not registered.
The court ruled that the divorce was not valid in law unless it was registered before the Family Court.
Meraj-Ur-Rahman was present in the court today, and asked for the custody of the two-and-a-half-year-old baby from his marriage with Manyata. The court asked the police to make sure that both Sanjay and Manyata appear before the court in person and to issue summons to ensure their presence. Meraj is currently lodged in the Arthur Road prison. He was arrested for sending obscene messages to actresses and models.
If it is proved that Sunjay married Manyata even after knowing that she was not divorced from her
first husband, then a case of bigamy can be registered against him
Zeenews Bureau
Mumbai, March 18: The wedding of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt and wife Manyata on late Tuesday took a ‘U’ turn when Mumbai court Judge null and void the divorce of Manyata and her first husband Meraj-Ur-Rahman. The court announced that Manyata is still Meraj-Ur-Rahamn’s wife and declared her second marriage null and void as she did not divorce her first husband. If proved that Sanjay married Manyata even after knowing that she has not divorced her first husband, then a case will be registered against Sanjay Dutt. The court asked the police to make sure that both Sanjay and Manyata appear before the court in person and to issue summon to ensure their presence. The court’s order has come after its 11th March order when they had asked the pair to appear on April 1 but today’s order was more comprehensive and detailed. Neither Sanjay-Manyata nor their lawyer was available for comment. Meraj was present in the court today and he asked for the custody of the two and half year old baby from his marriage with Manyata. Meraj`s advocate had also brought to the court`s notice that the method of divorce adopted, according to Manyata`s statement, was not valid in law unless it was registered before the Family Court. Meraj`s advocate Tasneem Shaikh on 11th March hearing argued before the court that according to Muslim divorce laws, if the ‘khulla` method (under which a woman approaches her husband for divorce as against man giving `talaq` to his wife) was adopted for divorce, then the husband has to "release" the wife. Also, `khulla` could be challenged in a court of law if the same was not registered. Earlier, Meraj-Ur-Rahman claimed that he is still married to Manyata and the Qazi (clerk) who annulled their wedding was false. Rehman is currently in the Arthur road prison after he was arrested for sending obscene messages to actresses and models. Sanjay and Manyata tied the knot in a registered marriage in Goa after which they got married here as per Hindu rituals. However, the first wedding came under the scanner as the Goa marriage registrar`s office sent a show cause notice to Manyata as she had reportedly submitted a fake residential certificate at the time of marriage. Following the notice, Dutt and Manyata filed an application before the Goa marriage registrar seeking to cancel their marriage, which was accepted by the registrar.
If you are convinced with what we’ve written out here, do call these numbers and speak your mind to these guys. Place your protest on record. Or you could also call them, if you want to listen to their side of the story... here are their numbers...Ashwin Tombat: Editor Herald 09421246332 and 0832-2433373 (direct line)Raul Fernandes: Owner Herald 9822100188Herald board numbers: 0091-832-2224202,2224460,2228083

Saturday, 15 March 2008


This is big. Very big. The line we had been pursuing throughout the shady forensic and criminal investigation into Scarlett Keeling's murder has come out true. It is ironical, that The Navhind Times, the newspaper which was the first media outfit to distort facts to it's readers right from the outset, slipped in a story today on page two which goes contrary to all the stories which have been screaming out on page 1 all these days. This is how we put across our case against Goa's largest selling English newspaper, which has fibbed through its teeth to the readers.
1) On March 8, TNT published a story which claimed (excerpt)

-- ‘The Navhind Times’ has learnt that the final report of the first autopsy, carried out at the Goa Medical College and Hospital by a team of forensic experts, that was handed over to the police yesterday afternoon has indicated that it was a case of homicidal drowning and that the girl was raped prior to the ghastly murder --

We have always maintained there was no such 'final report' of the first autopsy report. Its humbug. TNT claimed that the final report was filed on March 7, weeks after the autopsy was conducted by the Dr Silvano Sapeco. This never did make sense.
But this controversial story completely set the media reportage off course, by completely shifting focus from the misdoings of forenseic Dr Sapeco and making the Anjuna police the sole villians. Villians they are, but they weren't the only rogues in this case. Reproduced below is another ridiculous paragraph filed by the TNT reporter, which is a complete lie and is tailor-made to a) Dr Sapeco's skin b) support the already ridiculous and false premise of the 'final report' of the first autopsy.

-- It is also learnt that though the case was transferred to Mr Braz Menezes, the police inspector in-charge of Bicholim police station, for investigations, the all important report sent in a sealed cover and which stated that the girl died due to homicidal drowning and that she was raped was not handed over him. It was only after Mr Menezes met Dr Sapeco that he learnt of the report and reported to his superiors. --

2) On March 9, TNT carried a follow up story, titled 'Second autopsy confirms Scarlett’s rape, murder'. This story took the lies published in the first story a few steps further. The non-existent 'final report of the first autopsy' was now described by the TNT as a 'supplementary report of the first autopsy', as you can see in this excerpt from the same story.

-- Panaji, March 8 The report of the second autopsy on the body of Scarlett Eden Keeling, the 15-year-old British girl who was found dead on Anjuna beach on February 18 has confirmed the findings of the supplementary report of the first autopsy, which had indicated that the girl died of homicidal drowning which was preceded by rape, according to sources in the Goa Medical College and Hospital.

And again in this para

-- Meanwhile, the sources in the government said that the Anjuna police had not informed the state authorities about the supplementary report sent by Dr Silvano Sapeco, the professor and head of department of forensic medicine, indicating that the girl was raped and that the cause of her death was homicidal drowning.

These two dubious stories were followed by this editorial, which was 'moving' in more ways than one. It moved facts from the drawing board to the dustbin. The edit predictably pats the earlier two stories on their backs and then goes on to say this.

-- And hats off to the doctors of the forensic department of the Goa Medical College who, keeping up their reputation of doing totally professional and impartial examinations, submitted the first autopsy report, which shattered the clearly dubious and premature statement about the cause of Scarlett’s death by the Anjuna police. The second autopsy, that was done by a three-member panel, only confirmed the findings of the first autopsy, which clearly pointed to rape and homicide.

Once again the intent seems to shelter Sapeco and nail the cops. "Totally professional" and "impartial"!!! Cock and bull... Facts were knowlingly fudged here.
Now for the sucker punch. This is the story which appeared in TNT today. We are not drilling any holes here. We are using the chief minister's quotes to arrive at our conclusion. The chief minister told TNT's reporter in Margao, that there is no such thing as a "supplementary report". Here's his byte as reported by TNT.

-- The chief minister rubbished the theory on the supplementary autopsy report and denied that there was any such report.There is no such thing called supplementary autopsy report,” Mr Kamat said virtually putting paid to the news on the supplementary autopsy report attributed to Dr Sapeco.

So what are we saying here?
The purported "final report" aka "supplementary report" was the basis of which TNT absolved Dr Sapeco of his misdemeanors (which are so evident now). So if this 'supplementary report' did not exist, Dr Sapeco's actions are no short of 'criminal negligence'. Dr Sapeco is as guilty as the cops in Anjuna, who tried to fudge the case.
Then why did TNT 'fabricate' it? To save Dr Sapeco? Or, if Dr Sapeco 'invented' this document, why did the TNT not cross check this? Why did they allow this lie to slip through on its pages so many times? Why did TNT build such an elaborate smokescreen to save Dr Silvano Sapeco? Is there a
quid pro quo down the line? Or has the quid pro quo happened already?
This is our guys... Now you tell us.

Friday, 14 March 2008


One of the fellow Goan journos working abroad, Armstrong Vaz wrote in today with a complaint. Armstrong claims that a part of his piece published on was plagiarised by the Herald in it's article World’s largest ocean liner to halt for a day.
Armstrong told Penpricks that he would complain to the Herald editor Ashwin Tombat on this issue. Here's both the pieces, the original and the copied bit.

Herald's plagiarised report
World’s largest ocean liner to halt for a day
PANJIM, MARCH 13 — Queen Mary 2, the world’s largest ocean liner, is scheduled to drop anchor for a day’s halt at Mormugao Harbour on March 18.
She set sail on a 23-night cruising journey from Sydney to Dubai, on February 26 with halts at Yokohama, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore and Goa with a night’s stay in Dubai.
At the time of her construction in 2003 by the Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Queen Mary 2, built at an estimated cost of 800 million US dollars, was the longest, widest and tallest passenger ship ever built and at approximately 1,51,400 gross tons, was also the largest. She lost that last distinction to Royal Caribbean International’s 154,407 gross ton Freedom of the Seas in April 2006, but she remains the largest ocean liner (as opposed to cruise ship) ever built, and her width, length, and waterline breadth are unsurpassed by any other passenger ship.
Queen Mary 2 carries 2,592 guests in degrees of comfort and style ranging from pampered elegance to almost unimaginable luxury.
Facilities on board the liner include 13 decks, 15 restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, a casino, a ballroom, a theatre and the only planetarium at sea.
The fare pegged at US dollar 7,899 per person on a twin-sharing basis is a figure well above the reach of rich Indians a few years ago. But with a booming economy, Indians too are keen on splurging their extra fads of cash on varied options in the holiday market; cruising being one of them.

The story, Armstong claims to been plagiarised
Queen Mary 2 set sail on its 23-night cruising journey from Sydney to Dubai, on Feb. 26 and will be visiting Yokohama, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore and Goa with a night's stay in Dubai.
The fare pegged at US$7,899 per person twin-share is a figure well above the reach of the rich Indian a few years ago. But things are changing in India, with a booming economy, Indians keen in splurging their extra fads of cash have varied options in the holiday market and cruising is one of them.
For many Indians, owning a luxury yacht is one dream they cherish. Jeriton Dias, an Indian from western state of Goa is one of them. He is sailing on Queen Mary 2. He has not bought a cruising holiday but he is one of the 1,200 odd staff. For him the cruising holiday does not entice him and his family anymore. He is looking to own a yacht, both for leisure and business option and park it in Goa and explore more of the rural Goa.
Owning a luxury yacht and parking it in a designated marina in Indian waters is a dream most Indians look forward to. Now question arises whether India has sufficient marinas? Optimistic Indians have dreams for leisure boating in India.
But is India ready for a leisure boating boom? Can a country, which does not have any marinas along its coast, rival to overtake up market destinations like French Riviera?
In the absence of marinas, parking can be a nightmare for yacht owners in India and Goa is one of them.
But, the leisure boating industry is set to change if entrepreneur's plans to set up marinas in Goa and on the Konkan coast get the mandatory environmental green signals from the government.
One of them is a business tycoon from Goa and a keen water sports lover, Umaji V Chowgule, MD, Goa Yacht Haven Pvt Ltd. Chowgule, whose family business interests range from mining to brewing the popular Arlem beer in Goa, is planning to build a 300-boat marina in Sancoale village, in Mormugao Taluka, at the mouth of the Zuari river in Goa with an investment of Rs 100 crore (US$2.5 million).
The construction of the marina is set to give Goa's aim to get high-spending foreign tourists a shot in the arm, which the tourism authorities and ministers have trying to push albeit unsuccessfully over the last few years. Goa, as of now, as a tourist destination, has been a favourite haunt for back packers and low and middle budget foreign tourists.
The berthing facility for marinas is also likely to create around 1,000 to 2,000 jobs directly or indirectly related to industry.
A marina is a berth's facility where boats are anchored and are safe from mischief mongers and from the uncertainties of the weather. The marina can also provide facilities like fuel stations, boat servicing, restaurants, bars and other recreational activities.
"If you need to protect the leisure boat in the sea along Mumbai's coast, you need to construct a marina. We need to construct amenities like marinas so that people can sail and even stay away from the coast for a weekend," says Robin Walters, chairman of Walcon Marine Ltd, a worldwide expert in marina building, in a report in the Times of India. And he also allays the fears of environmental degradation due to the dredging operations.
"The concrete piles erected for a marina have adequate gaps for the water to flow beneath. In fact, in the UK, we have an award for the best marina every year," said Walters.
The Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS), which is into its sixteenth year and will be staged this year from March 11 to 15, at Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), Mina Seyahi and is a place where rich Indians buy their yacht.
"Dubai is a leading marine hub in the Middle East for the rich Arabs from the region to buy yachts. Market analysts in the leisure yachts industry point out that the GCC Arabs are the biggest buyers of the yachts in the world. And all the yachts are not parked in their home countries, but in holiday destinations in the Mediterranean countries. But new buyers are emerging from India and Russia," says Helen Wyand, project director, DIBS.
"Indians buying yachts at the DIBS are increasing. Those buying are the rich Indians based in Dubai and also from India who fly in especially for the show with a range of choices available for placing orders in Dubai for the luxury yachts," she said.
A luxury yacht, which is made according to customer specifications, takes eight months to one year to be delivered and the most expensive one costs five million euros.
In the next five years, the leisure boating industry will be worth at least US$1 billion (around Rs4,000 crore) in India, says a report in the of The Wall Street journal.
"Elsewhere, entrepreneur Andrew Farkas, founder and CEO of Island global Yachting, is keen on developing a worldwide network of luxury marinas that will change the way yachtsmen and their crew experience the world's most sough-after yachting destinations from the Caribbean to the Middle East," says a report in Yachts Emirates.
How India with its 7,600 km of virgin coastline fits into his plans remains to be seen, but one thing is sure with the projected sales figures of Rs150 crore (US$3.75 million) this year - development of marina, along the coastline, is an urgent necessity to give the industry a kick start it is looking for.


We know things are bad in Goa when it comes to dope, but this bad? We picked this bit up from Herald's web edition. From the looks of this header, either Goa's chief minister Digu's expecting a consignment of 'crack' in two days (you know what it means don't you? its a crude sort of cocaine) or its the usual mistake made by the Herald's deskies. They need a crack on their heads don't they.
Too many mistakes fellas, too many mistakes.
The place still is in a mess. While the management has managed to stem the tide of employees heading Times of India's way, guys out there are really disgruntled. Some of the reasons we are aware of is that the guys in the lower rung are mighty displeased by the fact that the news editor Sergio and his deputy Joel left these guys high and dry after picking up some increments around the time TOI's entry was expected, but not imminent. Joel too has manged a position which is higher than his earlier position as assistant news editor. Hey any of you guys know, that thanks to his advertising 'service', the edition goes to bed every night, when Joel is on the shift. Time you paid attention to your editorial duties Joel. Remember... editorial duties? Come on, the ones you rarely do man...
The other factor which is much more crucial is the constant meddling by the general manager Manjunath and the Managing Director Raul's PA Michael in the functioning of the editorial.
These guys are running amok. There were reports that Herald had sacked personnel manager Gaonkar the day after Erol Jorge joined the TOI. Gaonkar is a gem of a guy and recent reports suggests that the owners are having a rethink.
Other guys who have bit of thinking to do is the Gomantak Times. GT's relationship the Sakal group may have been consumated a long time back, but April should be the time when they give up the informal live-in arrangement and prepare for the marriage. GT will be Sakal Times (ST) soon. But some guys aren't too happy with the impending ST status. Not this particular Bhatkar Vithaldas Hegde, who cribbed bit about this at a weekly meeting.
The rumbles on The Navhind Times too with a steady stream of guys quitting the newspaper like fleas rushing out from a dying dog. Editor Arun Sinha may need to try and use the services of Dr Silvano Sapeco to figure out an answer this problem.

P.S. The Miguel -- Preetu tete e tete... rather the Miguel -- Preetu rat-a-tat have been published here in this one post...

Thursday, 13 March 2008


A few sly foxes have begun run with Goa’s pack of excited watchdogs.
But also running alongside the pack now, is a television news hound whose brain appears to be dangling between his hind legs. Hey… we could even get a forensics doc to prove it.
It’s dangerous… that this lie, propagated by Dr Silvano Sapeco in The Navhind Times is taking root. A lie, which is being repeated by The Navhind Times, CNN-IBN so very often, that the lie has begun to imitate the footfalls of truth.
Both these organisations are banging a false story time and again, completely absolving Dr Silvano Sapeco from one of the most questionable and criminal autopsies, for reasons best known to them.
Press Trust of India (PTI) too has picked up the same fake thread and spun it into a yarn.
Neither of these media outfits have asked Dr Silvano Sapeco, the questions they are supposed to?
Why not in writing doc? Why did you not mention the claims you make now in writing?
Karn Kowshik of the CNN IBN maybe wet behind the ears, but Arun Sinha is not. Neither is Rupesh Samant of the PTI.
Why are these guys acting dumb? Why are they protecting a doc who failed miserably in his duty to perform an honest autopsy?
Sure you are allowed to hide a source, but we’d like to repeat the point we’ve made in our earlier post. This source has done a cardinal wrong. The source in this case Dr Sapeco has fudged the same post mortem report these guys are crying hoarse about.
He has to be questioned by you guys... man.
Or is it that these journos are just playing to the gallery… Someone offers you a wall to nail the cops. They rush to it, irrespective of the amount of blood splattered on the same wall. Nails the cops guys… that’s great, but also take a closer look at who’s sending you after them…
Guys if these journalists refuse to budge. Here’s the least that you can do.
If you are convinced with what we’ve written call these journos on the numbers provided below and ask them the questions we have. Ask them why are they shielding Dr Sapeco… Ask them why their reportage is not straight.

CNN IBN stringer in Goa Pramod Achayra
-- 9423056333
or write to Rajdeep Sardesai --

PTI bureau chief
– Rupesh Samant
-- 9822231508

Navhind Times Editor – Arun Sinha
-- 0832-6651120 and 0832-6651123 (direct line) or his cell phone 09823026348

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


Somethings up fellas... Dr Silvano Sapeco has pulled off another media coup.
The forensic doctor who carved out the first notch of dishonesty in the Scarlett Keeling investigation.
He managed to get two stories published in The Navhind Times that patted his back for the con job. Yesterday The Navhind Times again published an idiotic editorial which not only patted the doc on his back, but also massaged his shoulders a bit...

And hats off to the doctors of the forensic department of the Goa Medical College who, keeping up their reputation of doing totally professional and impartial examinations, submitted the first autopsy report, which shattered the clearly dubious and premature statement about the cause of Scarlett’s death by the Anjuna police. (excerpt from the TNT editorial)

Herald's Monday issue also carried a story which took was extremely sympathetic to a doctor who missed out on more than 40 scars on Scarlett's body.
The latest is this foolish 'investigative story' which was broadcast on CNN-IBN which once again gives Dr Sapeco the clean chit.
What this story does is 'expose' that Scarlett was murdered, two whole days after the the second autopsy already confirmed that she was murdereed.
The buffoons.
Hats off to Dr Silavno for being able to sell them this story idea.
The story is so stupid that on the one hand it masks the face of the doc (looks like Dr Sapeco himself) giving the byte, but goes on to reveal the identity of the same doc in this paragraph.

In 2003, both the doctor and Nerlon Albuquerque were suspended over a similar incident, when a murder was reportedly made to look like a suicide.

What we think is... guys its fine to publish a point of view. But when the finger of suspicion is on the doc himself, you should ask him a few tough questions too.
The doc needs to answer
a) Why did he miss out on the majority of the scars on the girls body?
b) Why did he not jot his findings down on paper, instead of relying on an oral communication with the cops?
c) Why did he need to attach a supplementary autopsy report one day after the chief minister publicly announces a second autopsy?
d) Why did it take him more than two weeks to file that supplementary report?

The doc needs to be grilled guys. You are treading a fine line, when a source has his hands dirty in the same crime you are reporting. Question Dr Sapeco fellas, don't cuddle him.


Hey guys, got this pic in The Navhind Times. What's that thing they're eating from... Look at the sheer size of it. Is it a cake or a coffin?


Mailed to us by Minguel Braganza

Second autopsy confirms Scarlett’s rape, murder NT Staff Reporter
Panaji, March 8 The report of the second autopsy on the body of Scarlett Eden Keeling, the 15-year-old British girl who was found dead on Anjuna beach on February 18 has confirmed the findings of the supplementary report of the first autopsy, which had indicated that the girl died of homicidal drowning which was preceded by rape, according to sources in the Goa Medical College and Hospital.
The second autopsy was conducted today at the GMC by a team of doctors headed by Dr Edmund Rodrigues (associate professor of forensic medicine). The autopsy, which began in the morning, was completed in the evening.
The report was presented to the police late in the night, the North Goa superintendent of police, Mr Bosco George acknowledged its receipt.
The second Inquest Panchanama was conducted by Deputy Collector Mahesh Khorjuemkar on Friday, 07 March afternoon and the body of Scarlett Keeling was handed over to the Forenseic Dept of GMC for the SECOND autopsy late in the evening. No 2nd autopsy of Scarlett was conducted till midnight on Friday. The autopsy began at 09.30 A.M. on SATURDAY 08 March, 2008 and took almost six hours to complete. That is the TRUTH.
The Times of India on Saturday 08 March reported the second autopsy on page 8, Columns 7 & 8 with a heading that said it all [WRONG]: "2nd autopsy done on Briton in Goa". Datelined "Panaji" [on 07 March, obviously for a Saturday morning newspaper], the report begins with the words "A second autopsy was conducted on FRIDAY on the body of the British teenager, Scarlette Eden Keeling..." Did that have anything to do with a possible "leak" of the so-called "final" report of the first autopsy that emerged on Shivratri holiday? As the NT report above clearly states, the truth is that the 2nd autopsy was conducted on Saturday. The dates of the autopsy can also be obtained from the GMC, under RTI, if needed.
On Thursday, a report in the TOI with a by-liine to the ex-GT journo prone to "sexing up" reports a la USA's embedded journos, stated that the second autopsy was done on TUESDAY. One must believe that the Goan reader is Preety Naive to swallow all that. On Monday, 10 March, 2008 another front page report on TOI [Mumbai edtion] by Preetu Nair wants us to believe that the second autopsy has ruled ot "drowning"! Is this a sign of our TIMES?
Perhaps, the Press Council of India will have an opinion about journos making [up] news instead of simply doing their job .... of reporting it, when it happens.


Dear Minguel Braganza,

I apologize to you for this unsolicited, late reply to your mail which was send to one and sundry, except the person whom you criticized. If I was not informed by few well-wishers, then I would probably have never known of your mail or the postings in the blog Pen pricks.
At the outset, I would like to thank you for your remarkable observations and comments that you made as a reader. However, towards the end I felt that the letter was more of a personal attack, rather than the comments of a serious reader.
I am shocked that now that I have left Gomantak Times and joined TOI for better career prospects, you are criticizing me for "sexing up" reports a la USA's embedded journos at GT and alleging that I am doing the same in TOI. I am surprised and shocked with your sudden
realization. But don't you think the realization has come a bit late, for I think you were very much in the scene when I was "sexing up" reports for GT. Why didn't you criticize me then or decide to complain against me to the Press Council of India? You didn't even complain
when I exposed (probably for you "sexed up") the Mandar murder in GT.
Were you silent because you are also a writer/columnist in GT?
Let me make it clear that I don't have the arrogance or the temperament to criticize or fool the readers. I am not foolish to believe that the Indian newspaper readers are naïve. Fortunately,
readers are quick to realize that much of what goes on in the tourist paradise of Goa goes unreported because a few local journos and their editors play host to the corrupt system.
Thank you,

Preetu Nair


Dear Preetu,
You stick to the TRUTH and I will have no issues with you ...even in the improbable event that you become a Bureau Chief in the TIME or NEWSWEEK. This is not about petty jealousy. I am not a career journalist.
When you are WRONG, admit it, apologise and we can move on. I hold no grudges if the other poerson does not persist in the wrong. You did report wrongly about the second autopsy of Scarlett on Thursday last and again on Monday, 10 March, 2008. Or please quote your source that says the second autopsy was done on TUESDAY.
If you have not already noticed, I spell my name without an "N" as MIGUEL, which is the correct Portuguese spelling. As is your wont, you do not pay attention to details. It shows.
Perhaps, you are also not aware that the list "Mailing list for journalists of Goa (India), in Goa, and who worked in Goa...." <>, packed up a few months ago. Check it out with Frederick.
Oh yes! I have complained to the GT editor about your "sexing up" of issues and not just in the Mandar case. I have also not hidden the fact that one of the accused in the Mandar murder case is my nephew. My letter to the Editor was front paged in the GT ..... while you were employed there. The truth does not frighten the honest.
I do not write a column in the GT for a living. I do not think I am duty bound NOT to criticise it. I have ...right from its insensitive handling of the Pratima Gaokar case. I have written a weekly column for the GT Weekender from 1992 to 1996, when you were possibly learning to write with a pencil.
The first case that comes to my mind is the report on the death of a person in Bicholim. The GT Weekender had carried TWO reports, one by you and the other by Reema Kamat in the same issue ...with glaring differences in the approach, specially about truth and the sensitivity to other people's feelings, which you have not. It showed even then.
I had even once told Paul Fernandes, also from GT and now in TOI, that you should not expect kindness from me if I ever caught you on the wrong foot. You can check with him. Do unto others what you can expect others to do unto you!
It is not my fault if the "Moderator" of Goajourno refused to carry my posting so that you would have access to it. I have marked a copy to the TOI, your current employer, and I am sure it would have notified you. In any case, there was no chance of you not knowing about my email: Journos are compulsive gossips about such juicy things about their colleagues.
Preetu, you wrote, "much of what goes on in the tourist
paradise of Goa goes unreported because a few local journos and theireditors play host to the corrupt system." I will let the "working journalists" and editors, especially the Editor of NT and GT [your former employers], to reply to that accusation. Coming from an "insider" like you, it is a serious allegation , indeed.
Preetu dear, you wrote, "Let me make it clear that I don't have the arrogance or the temperament to criticize or fool the readers. I am not foolish to believe that the Indian newspaper readers are naïve." If you really believe that, let your reports prove it convincingly the future, at least.
Mog asundi.

Monday, 10 March 2008


This is big. This is as big as it can get.
Amanda Merritt, sister of Stephen Bennett, another Britisher who was found dead in Roha, Maharashtra has claimed that a Goan editor had told her, that he was instructed by the police not to report on her brother's death.
She has been quoted saying so in a story which was published by the Times UK, as part of the followup in the Scarlett Keeling murder. This is her quote.

Much of what goes on in the “travellers’ paradise” goes unreported. “The editor of a local paper told me that he had been ordered by a police representative not to report on my brother’s case at all,” Merritt says.

So who is this editor? There is a need to figure out who this editor is? These are the slurs and the scars in our profession who needed to be tarred a bit so that readers know which editor is preaching what and the context he's coming from...
(we're thankful to a reader, who brought this to our notice)

Sunday, 9 March 2008


For a moment, just for a moment, we thought Abdul Rauf of The Navhind Times pulled out a masterpiece. Coming up with a confirmation that Scarlette Keeling death as murder a day before the second post mortem could be conducted.
But keeping in mind the subsequent developments, its pretty clear, that somethings got to be very very fishy about any story published in the Navhind Times, that deals with the issue of sexual abuse, especially considering that the editor himself faces charges of molesting a minor.

The story TNT carried as its page 1 lead on March 8 is all but a plug designed to save Dr Silvano Sapeco, the chap who conducted the forensic examination. It’s a tissue that's meant to mop up Sapeco’s dirty trail.

Here’s some huge holes in the TNT story.

Tell us guys, what in Gods name is the ‘final report of the first autopsy’ on which Rauf bases his story.

This ‘final report’ is a devious piece of paper, which was drafted by Dr Silvano Sapeco much, much after to after the autopsy. Check out these dates. This should make things clear to you.

-- The first autopsy on the body was carried out by Dr Sapeco on February 18.

-- On March 5 after the shit hit the ceiling, the Goa government ordered a second autopsy to be conducted by a panel of doctors.

-- This letter which the Navhind Times dubs as the ‘final report’ was written on March 6, a day after the chief minister’s statement.

So why did Dr Sapeco wait for more than two weeks to hand over the final report? That too, after a second autopsy had already been ordered?

There’s more guys.

The Navhind Times in a report published today (March 9) goes on to call this shady bit of correspondence ‘supplementary evidence’.

There’s more in The Navhind Times report, which makes us believe that it is a suspscious plant designed to fool readers. This is that fishy paragraph.

It is also learnt that though the case was transferred to Mr Braz Menezes, the police inspector in-charge of Bicholim police station, for investigations, the all important report sent in a sealed cover and which stated that the girl died due to homicidal drowning and that she was raped was not handed over him. It was only after Mr Menezes met Dr Sapeco that he learnt of the report and reported to his superiors.

You expect people to believe this?
The Goan State has begun a cover-up on the suspected rape and murder of Scarlette Keeling. It is only too sad that we journos and the newspapers help them in every effort.


Do any of your guys know of any cure for this? The Navhind Publications Pvt Ltd is going through a bad spell of editorial dysentery.
About a dozen have quit the Navhind Publications within the last month. Their names... Joaquim Fernandes (TNT), Kishor Kubal (Navprabha), Ramdas Volvoikar (TNT), Salil Keshkamat (TNT), Rajtilak Naik (TNT), Agnelo Pereira (TNT). Agnelo Fernandes and Somnath Maitri (both TNT) received their offer letters today and chances are, that these ducklings are willing to flap their wings.
This is perhaps the first time that journos who've often considered TNT as their final pit stop have started thinking on different lines. Earlier, you could rarely see married guys switching from a permanent deal to a contract arrangement, the way this chap like Ramdas Volvoikar has opted for. Times are sure changing fast. Hey and what's this thing in the air about Arun Sinha being replaced/booted upwards and a new guy coming in? Any of you chaps have some dope?
So how would TNT react to these losses?
Dunno man... The editor claims that they have been trying to spruce up some local coverage. Pssst, they have been trying to do that for a few thousand years now. Legend has it, that when Parshuram 'created' Goa, the Navhind Times carried a single column about it a couple of weeks late and that too on page 4.
And what about Navprabha, The Navhind Times' step sister?
They've lost two genuine sloggers like Ganesh Javdekar and Kishor Kubal in a matter if months.
Its editor Suresh Walve's tantrums are well known. He is presently left with two reporters, one of whom he can't see eye to eye, in form of the ever incisive Sanjeev Verenkar and Baban Bhagat. On the verge of retirement, a few well timed tears had managed to stretch him an extension. BTW Navhind Publications had put out an ad in newspapers in Maharashtra Times and Lok Satta seeking chaps to edit Navprabha. No talent in Goa, is there Srinivas bab?
While on the migration issue, after playing 'contract ping-pong' Herald's Erol Jorge has finally joined TOI. Herald has managed to retain it's flock with its chief reporter Vijay De Souza, Julian Dcosta and Guilherme Almeida only pecking TOI on the cheek before coming back home. Melvyn Mesquita also stays back in the Herald with his "EK KE SAATH 24 FREE" edge. What it means is that Melvyn always travels with his brood of 24 correspondents. You get him, you get the 24 chaps with him. Its a network he has built along the years.
You chaps know about anyone else hopping ships?

Saturday, 8 March 2008


So is this how a newspaper reacts to a challenge (read story below)? Like some gawky adolescent boy, whose just seen a hunk from out of town, corner the same girl he'd been clumsily trying to seduce for a while. (Herald = teenager; girl = readership in this case, get it?) Herald has started feeling the pressure.
And its showing. And there's still more bad news.
Under pressure, it's begun to behave like its owner Raul Fernandes (Raul = adolescent boy in this case, get it?). That's is not good news.

As far as we can see, not much has changed even as Ashwin completes one month as Herald's editor (his name first appeared on the print-line on Feb 15, although he had been 'getting accustomed' to the paper some time before that). But there's not much to show, which is rather disappointing, considering the reputation he'd come with. Hope the ti
me Ashwin (Gomantak Times and now) spent doing plugs (check out these links) or should we say developmental stories for the TATAs portal hasn't blunted his teeth.

And some of those sad 'spec
ial correspondent' stories Ashwin probably wrote, didn't pass muster either (did you read the one on Valentines day? An anchor written by a Special Correspondent on the occasion of Valentines Day guys!!! That's almost Robin Abreu league) Anyway where were we... Oh ya.... this bizzare stuff. Herald has a really weird story against Times of India's red clothed salesmen peddling subscriptions. Herald's even managed to rope in the generally duh DySP Mohan Naik as their spokesperson and comment against TOI's salesmen... Bad stuff Ashwin... First month's been real bad Ashwin... Kick ass man... don't kiss it.

Beware of Salesmen, Warn police
By Herald Reporter
Police on Saturday cautioned people over the innumerable salesmen visiting their areas enticing them with consumer goods.
Already feeling the pressure over the tenant and the servant verifications after the recent terror threat, these salesmen will add to the burden of the police verification workload.
The Panjim SDPO, DySP, Mohan Naik, has urged the people not to entertain salesmen for their own safety. He said he would ask companies recruiting door-to-door salesmen to verify their antecedents so that people are not put to risk.
Recently, a complaint was lodged at the Panjim Police Station by a city resident stating that for the last 10-15 days some people wearing red T-shirts were moving in the locality in an unauthorized manner.
The complainant stated three of the people had approached his house when his 62-year-old mother was alone at around 11.30 am.
The three knocked on the door non-stop and made my mother open it and once in started convincing her subscribe some thing they were trying to sell, he mentioned.
The complainant said when his mother refused and asked the three to leave the house she was threatened.
After she raised an alarm the three took flight, he added. Naik said residents should be more careful and remain ever watchful.


hey guys... we just found a batch of cuttings back from November which we'd misplaced and forgot to scan... We've found a gem in it... come up with it in a few days...


Hey guys there’s news… former Dempo principal Waman Naik has been indicted by the SS Dempo college’s complaints committee, which upheld charges of sexual harassment against him. But still it'd be great to see Waman’s column "OFF TRACK" (some irony ain't it?) in the Saturday issue. But sure that don’t mean a thing to The Navhind Times right? TNT is to alleged molestors, what Cayman Islands is to money laundering. A safe haven.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008


Tell you what…
We are in an editor-spanking mood right now.
Pick the guy up by his collar, place him on our lap and give this guy a right good spanking.
Its this Gomantak editorial which has really riled us up. These are the kind of editorials, which appear the day after the editor has had breakfast/dinner with the chief minister or home minister (depending on where the crisis lies). When the CM/HM pats the editor for a great editorial a couple of days ago and then they bring the editor up to date on the amazing things they are doing to keep the state in well being.
A lot of times, we've admitted that there are a few in our flock who're dumb (we'd find a place for one of us here too perhaps) but if Sanjay Dhavalikar has written this editorial, then he has done a great disservice to journalism. If he has merely cleared it, then he should ask RSS' main masseur Satish Dhond for a good head massage…
Sanjay’s senses appear to have addled.
The editorial in question (click on the image and it'll swell into a readable size) appeared some days ago following the alleged rape of a foreigner in Goa in the beginning of the year. We have a problem with the very premise, which the editorial starts off from.
Sanjay takes a Talibanesque stance in his editorial when he claims, that the main reason why foreign women tourists are sexually assaulted in Goa is because of the clothes they wear and their ‘behaviour’. He then continues justify his claim, by mouthing the same bullshit, which the Goan State throws to the media. That all this hue and cry about Goa being unsafe to foreigners is only intended to defame Goa and should be condemned.
Then in an even more appalling statement further on, Sanjay goes on to say that the behaviour of foreign women tourists at rave parties is no less than an invitation to rape them.
Sanjay, are you in your senses? Do you realise what you are writing here? You are absolving the State of its most important responsibility? Foreigners attend these rave parties because they are organised in this part of the country. Why does the State not put an end to them?
What kind of vernacular morals are you preaching?
Sanjay, say tomorrow, are you going to define the length of the skirt, worn by any of your female staffers to work, for fear of pumping up the sexual urges of a rustic and a thoroughly decent chap like Ganesh Javdekar? If a sleeveless top sexually incites your assistant editor Suhas Belekar into doing something untoward, who would you banish from Gomantak Bhavan? Suhas or the girl in the sleeveless shirt? If we follow the premise you have laid out, surely its the latter right?
Pluck off your right wing shirt Sanjay? Its high time now. You've worn it long enough. Its torn and your arm pits are showing. And believe me, that's not a turn on. And...
Get real Sanjay, get real…