PANJIM: Prominent freedom fighter was arrested by the police in Margao while some 50 Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM) activists courted arrest in Panjim on Saturday, which was celebrated as the Goa Revolution Day.  Freedom fighters and BBSM activists were protesting in Margao and Panjim, against the government’s decision to give grants to English medium primary schools.
Freedom fighters and activists gathered at the Lohia Maidan in Margao where the Revolution Day function was organised and while the programme was on, they started shouting anti-government slogans to protest the government’s decision on medium of instruction (MoI). According to the Margao police, 38 persons including the freedom fighter were detained and taken to the Margao police station where they were arrested under Section 151 of CrPC and later released on a bond of `3,000 each. Police further said that there was no untoward incident reported during the programme. Suspecting trouble, the function was held under police presence.
For the first time in the history of liberated Goa, the government and the freedom fighters paid homage to the martyrs of Goa’s freedom struggle separately at the Martyrs’ Memorial at Azad Maidan in Panjim.
The function was held under heavy police presence, including personnel from the Central Industrial Security Force, as the BBSM had decided to launch the second phase of agitation to protest against the government decision on MoI. The freedom fighters had also expressed anger over the decision and decided not to participate in the official function.
All the entry points to Azad Maidan were almost sealed off to prevent entry of any of the activists during the official function. A bid by wife of one of the BBSM leaders to enter the function venue was thwarted as she was seen by a senior police official who asked her to withdraw from the venue.
The official Revolution Day function witnessed protest by activists of BBSM, including Mr Pundalik Naik, Mr Vishnu Wagh, Mr Govind Parvatkar and Mr Arvind Bhatikar. Ms Shashikala Kakodkar was conspicuous by her absence.
The BBSM activists including 50 men and two women courted arrest and were later released.  The Governor, Dr Shivinder Singh Sidhu and the Chief Minister, Mr Digambar Kamat led the people of the state in paying tributes to the martyrs at the official function. The freedom fighters numbering around 50 and led by Mr Nagesh Karmali and Mr Chandrakant Kenkre arrived at the Martyrs Memorial at Azad Maidan after the end of the official Revolution Day government function, and paid homage to the freedom fighters who laid their lives during Goa’s liberation struggle. They raised mild slogans against the Chief Minister and the government as they marched towards the Azad Maidan. The freedom fighters removed the flowers laid down by the Governor, the Chief Minister and other government dignitaries, cleansed the place with water and laid fresh flowers.
Later, speaking to the media, Mr Karmali said that the corrupt politicians have no right to take name of a sublime personality like Dr Ram Manohar Lohia. “The Revolution Day celebration concept was the brainchild of the freedom fighters association and the dishonest politicians have no right to participate in the same,” he added, pointing out that the freedom fighters did not participate in the official government function as the function was attended by anti-national people who had stabbed the public in the back. Mr Karmali also warned that the fight would continue with the government until the controversial MoI decision is withdrawn.
The BBSM activists, many of whom were young people, began gathering at the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry building at around 8.30 am but were cordoned off by the personnel of Goa Armed Police, while the freedom fighters gathered at the adjoining building and were cordoned off by the CISF personnel.
As the CISF contingent threw a cordon around the freedom fighters, they began protesting saying that the police action reminded them of the dictatorship of the erstwhile Portuguese regime. They also said that the Chief Minister should have used English to address the gathering having “betrayed” the cause of mother tongue.
Soon after the Chief Minister began his address to the gathering, BBSM activists started raising slogans against him and his government and continued for some time till they courted arrest. They were taken away in two police vehicles and later released by the police. In an apparent rebuff to the BBSM activists, the gathering at the function applauded the Chief Minister for his statements on the occasion.


Gobor said...

The "palmator" swipes and ice cubes shoved up  their behinds will  reminisce

the old prison orgies  and brush up their mem'ries  and they will remember exactly how many coconuts they stole that night.

aggybaba said...

I fail to understand what  this so called bbsm and these so called, self glorified, freedom farters have  against the MOI. Jealousy? Or just begging for attention?

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