Hindu group threatens stir after police officers’ transfer

January 3rd, 2009 - 8:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Jan 3 (IANS) Two police officers, who were transferred for raiding a madrasa in Goa’s port town of Vasco while on a verification drive following a statewide terror alert in December, have found support from a Hindu group. The Goa branch of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) has threatened to launch a statewide agitation if the transfer orders of the two officers, Inspector Harish Madkaikar and Deputy Superintendent of Police Deu Benaulikar, were not revoked immediately.

Addressing a press conference here Saturday, HJS president Jayesh Thali said Francisco Sardinha, Congress MP from South Goa, had pressurised the state government to punish the officers.

“Goa was facing a terror threat. The officers were only doing their job. How can you blame the two officers, when the madrassa itself was not registered with the education department?” Thali asked.

The officers had raided the madrasa in Vasco and had taken 88 of its students to the Vasco police station for verification Dec 16. While the madrasa management had cried outrage, police had said that the management had been stalling the verification process for over a month.

Thali said Sardinha had forced Benaulikar to apologise to the madrasa management, when he was only doing his duty.

“It’s a shame that the state government does not allow the police to do an honest job. It should stop meddling in matters related to policing,” Thali said.

The police raid had evoked a sharp response from civil society groups in Goa, forcing the state government to initiate an inquiry into the incident.

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