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Calm after the storm

Lessons to be learnt from desecrations; the blame games should stop

17th July 2017, 04:17 Hrs
Calm descended again over Goa as a Special Investigation Team of the Goa Police cracked the recent desecration cases across South Goa. A 54-year- old man, one Francis X Pereira from Curchorem was arrested while trying to desecrate a cross at Curtorim. According to the police, Francis has admitted to the spate of desecrations witnessed over the past few weeks. Now that a breakthrough has been achieved, the police should be allowed to take this case to its logical conclusion. Ahead lies a huge task of putting all the pieces together in a case which has a lot of religious sentiment attached to it. rThere are lessons to be learnt from these desecration cases. At a time where Goa was almost on the edge and communal tensions threatened to tear apart the secular fabric, this breakthrough teaches us that the best way forward is to exercise restraint. The archbishop and church officials should be commended for stepping in and calling for peace and calm when virtually every dawn sowed seeds of despair in the minds of the minority community. Fingers of suspicion were raised at the Sanatan Saunstha; some pointed at Sadhvi Saraswati’s hate speech on beef ban while some were thinking in terms of a RSS hand. The uneasy calm shown initially was drifting away and people from across communities and political backgrounds were showing signs of mud-slinging. It is this random blame-game that strains communal bonds. The minority community and people across all religions and faiths in Goa need to be lauded for showing exemplary unity at a time when the State stood almost on the edge of a communal discord. rThere may be difference of opinion even now after this breakthrough. Council for Social Justice and Peace and another church body, the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism have cast aspersions over a single person’s involvement in all the desecrations. Several politicos have also found it difficult to accept that a 54-year-old could create such an extensive damage to religious structures. rIt’s not an easy job investigating and a lot of hard ground-level probe has been going on. The police should be given time, now that they have achieved the first breakthrough. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has admitted that there could be more people involved and has put his trust in the police force. rThe police who worked round-the- clock need a pat on the back for the work they have put in and the breakthrough they achieved. Let’s give them their due and join hands with the police in this fight against such vandals. Let instances like these not affect the communal harmony that Goa is known for.

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