In connection with the violence at the Ram Navami rally in Goa on April 10, an investigative team was dispatched by an organization called “Citizens for Initiatives for Communal Harmony”, whose findings suggest that the organizers of the rally violated the rules, despite this, no action was taken against him.
New Delhi: A fact-finding team, carrying out a detailed analysis of the communal violence that took place in Goa during the Ram Navami celebrations on April 10, 2022, found that the rally organizers were shielded from any action even though they flouted all rules and regulations. Communal slogans were hoisted.
The team was set up by Citizens for Initiatives for Communal Harmony (CICH), which was formed in 2006 after communal riots broke out in Curchorem Sanvordem and whose task is to effectively address complaints related to communal violence .
The investigative team included educator and architect Tallulah D’Silva, human rights lawyer Sarang Ugalmugale, independent researcher Amita Kanekar and activist and CICH coordinator Albertina Almeida.
Ram Navami’s “celebration” and the violence that erupted during this time have been described as unique. He has a detailed study of news reports, reports of interviews with law enforcement officials who staged rallies on Ram Navami and others. Investigative team members also shed light on the background that led to the community incident.
He explained how communal incidents occurred across India on that day, underscoring the need to uncover the reasons that led to the violence in Goa as well.
Reports indicate that the police gave permission to Rajeev Jha of the Kesaria Hindu Vahini (KHV) organization for the massive Ram Navami ‘Shobha Yatra’ procession. Jha had been linked to communal tensions in the frontispiece of Old Sankole Church.
The report also talks about the common message of the rally, clear indications of which were seen on WhatsApp groups and other social media channels even before the violence broke out.
The report revealed that Hindus were called to unite in support of Hindus who were fighting to reclaim the Vijaydurga Temple from ‘Christian missionaries’. Christian missionaries are also said to be “illegally” claiming that the temple land is the “facade of Sankole Church”.
He said, “So this gathering was not just a religious gathering to celebrate Ram Navami, but it also had a Hindutva tinge from the start.”
The report also questioned the authorities’ decision to allow the gathering as a “religious procession”.
The committee also found that the rally passed through Vasco and Sankole areas, where many Hindu temple officials had not attended and claimed they had nothing to do with it.
The report also revealed that there was a clear tendency to create unrest near places of worship of other communities. However, even though the police had intelligence of a plan to eliminate the gathering at the frontispiece of the old Sankole church in Sankole, even though it was not part of the authorized route, the police did not attempt to stop it.
There were other instances of permission violations in the rally, such as only cars and bicycles were allowed in the rally, but a large ‘tank’ was also seen.
“The rally attempted to create disturbances by shouting loud slogans and music outside Minar Masjid, Masjid-e-Noor at MES College and Sankole Church in Zuarinagar,” the report said. One of the slogans raised here was ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
On the opposition’s claims, the report states that “as the organizers of the rally claimed that the procession had been pelted with stones from the Aqsa Mosque or a nearby madrasa, this was not possible considering given the geography of the place”.
The report also said that there was another unit of disbelievers who tried to enter the Aqsa Mosque with saffron flags and then joined the crowd of 150 people. He also injured two people.
The report said people watching the show outside the Vasco police station and local officials were also attacked. An attempt was made to disrupt prayers in the mosque by brandishing the slogans ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Muslims are terrorists’.
The report indicates how police action following the violence was contrary to the commission’s findings. Based on the complaints of three people, three FIRs were recorded, during which 13 people were arrested, all Muslims. All 13 people were arrested in connection with the same FIR and no one was arrested for the other two FIRs.
Rally organizer Rajeev Jha and others ‘met with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’ the very next day, No FIR has been filed against the rally organizer, who has other charges including breaking the rules, broadcasting communal messages and causing injury in the attack.
The report reports that members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were also present at the rally and at a conference held on April 17. The conference claimed that “traitors” threw stones on April 10.
The report alleged that two police officers were transferred without following due process.
“There is no transparency at the local level on the progress of complaint investigations, and no information is released, including details of arrests etc., to show that justice is being done,” indicates the report. And give assurance to the general public. The position of Goa Police Public Relations Officer engaged in disseminating information to the public is vacant.
The full report is detailed and details many details of the case, in addition to keeping records of witnesses and those believed to be connected to the case.
Several suggestions and recommendations made by the investigative team include the establishment of a minority commission, a detailed investigation into the events that unfolded on the day of the incident, and the close monitoring of leaders who aim to disturb peace through communal riots.
(To read this report in English Click here.,
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