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The final journey: 'Babush' to get State funeral today

Story: The | Goan | 16th February 2019, 03:17 Hrs

CM visits residence
to pay his homage

>> Chief Minister Parrikar entered the Mapusa MLA’s residence in a wheelchair and paid homage to his childhood friend and colleague
>> Parrikar did not utter a word but shook hands with Babush’s wife expressing his condolences to the family
>> The Chief Minister's visit lasted barely around two minutes

MAPUSA: A steady stream of people on Friday visited the home of former deputy chief minister Francis (Babush) D'Souza here, where his mortal remains have been laid to pay their respects to the leader who died at a private hospital on Thursday.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar also visited the D'Souza residence on Friday morning and condoled with his family.
As decided by the Goa government, the former deputy chief minister will be accorded a State funeral with a 21-gun salute on Saturday. The funeral mass will be presided over by Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao.
The final journey of late Francis D’Souza to Mapusa church will start at 3.30 pm from his residence while the service in the church is expected to begin at 4 pm.
D’Souza died at the Healthway hospital in Old Goa on Thursday afternoon at the age of 64, following a prolonged illness.
The State government had on Thursday declared a public holiday on Friday besides three-day state mourning in Goa from Friday.
A huge pandal was being erected in front of the St Jerome’s church, Mapusa which will accommodate at least 2000 to 3000 people who are expected to attend the funeral on Saturday.
North Goa Collector Levinson Martins visited Mapusa on Friday evening to oversee the arrangements made near the church.
“Necessary instructions have been issued and all arrangements are in place. Police will take steps on diversion of traffic, if required,” Martins said.
DySP Serafin Dias informed that as per the protocol followed for State funerals, the coffin of the former deputy chief minister would be draped with the national flag and a 21-gun salute and salami would be given to the departed leader after the mass and just before the burial.
A police band will also be in attendance.
Meanwhile, the former deputy chief minister’s residence saw a steady stream of visitors on Saturday, who came to pay their last respects to the politician.
Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly Pramod Sawant and Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo visited the former deputy CM’s residence to pay respects to the departed leader.
TCP Minister Vijai Sardessai, Urban Development Minister, Milind Naik and Art & Culture Govind Gaude also paid a condolence visit.
Several MLAs like Alina Saldanha, Glenn Ticlo, Churchill Alemao, Nilkant Halarnkar, Francis Silveira and Carlos Almeida also visited the residence and offered condolences to the family.
GPCC President Girish Chodankar, spokesman, Trajano D’Mello and several other Congress office-bearers paid their respects to the departed leader.
Several former MLAs cutting across party lines visited the Mapusa MLA’s residence and offered condolences to the family.
The Chief Secretary, DGP, IGP and several other bureaucrats also paid homage to the departed leader.
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party expressed condolences to the bereaved family of former Dy CM Francis D’Souza who passed away on Thursday.
AAP Convenor Elvis Gomes said that D’Souza was a rare breed of what can be called ‘gentleman politician ‘ for whom good of the common man mattered more than his chair.
Gomes said he had the privilege of working with him and because of his farsightedness, many things could be achieved in the Urban Development and Municipal Administration department.
At the same time, the AAP leader didn’t mince words in saying that Francis had belatedly realised that the political system in which he was, had become cruel. “He had friends cutting across political affiliations. I think the BJP used him for votes. He was bitter when dropped,” said Gomes indicating that Francis could not come out of the ‘humiliation’.   

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