BJP behind temple desecrations in Goa, alleges Congress

November 9th, 2008 - 8:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Nov 9 (IANS) The Congress Sunday claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was behind the desecration of temples and shrines in rural Goa and demanded that the state government constitute an Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) on the lines of Maharashtra to probe the matter.Speaking to reporters Saturday evening, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Jeetendra Deshprabhu claimed that the desecrations were being carried out by “satellites” of the BJP and a thorough impartial investigation was required to get to the bottom of the matter.

The Goa police have already constituted a special investigation team made up of Crime Branch officials to nab the culprits. “This is not enough, the Congress party has asked the government to form a team on the lines of the Maharashtra ATS and fully empower them,” Deshprabhu said.

“One must not forget what is happening in Malegaon. This is a pattern the BJP and its satellites follow before any elections in order to encourage polarization. These are not stray incidents, but a well planned exercise to divide the Goan community,” Deshprabhu alleged. The desecration spree coincided with the run-up to the Pale assembly by-election in Goa, he noted.

Deshprabhu announced that the Congress-led coalition Goa government had promised police protection to the hundreds of small temples in remote regions where the desecration attempts have been made.

Both the Congress and BJP have termed the attacks on temples as acts of terrorism.

However, while the Congress has maintained that the BJP was engineering these incidents, the latter has blamed the Indian Mujahideen for the attacks. “It’s the handiwork of the Indian Mujahideen (IM). They are vitiating the atmosphere in Goa for their own benefit,” Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar told IANS. “The police should be given a free hand to tackle such cases,” he added.

Meanwhile, Razak Sheikh, 25, who was arrested by the Special Investigation Team of the Crime Branch for vandalising an idol of a Hindu deity at Paroda last month, was released on bail by a local court.

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