AAP, Congress Question Goa CM Pramod Sawant Over Sanquelim Temple Clash – News18


Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.
(Image: News18)

Tensions and arguments escalated between the Bhandari community and another group during the much-followed ‘Palkhi’ festival at the Sanquelim temple last Sunday.

The Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Goa units have criticised Chief Minister Pramod Sawant for the recent clash that happened at the prestigious Shree Rudreshwar Temple in Arvalem-Sanquelim. Tensions and arguments escalated between the Bhandari community and another group during the much-followed ‘Palkhi’ festival at the temple last Sunday. The local police had to intervene and diffuse the situation.

Goa Congress leader Sunil Khwatankar termed the incident as a failure of law and order in the state. Khwatankar held Goa CM Sawant and his government responsible for the incident and said that the CM should step down. While speaking to reporters, Khwatankar attacked the BJP government, alleging it is part of their strategy to divide communities.

“It was an unfortunate incident that happened in the CM’s constituency. A peaceful gathering was attacked by a mob armed with lathis on the temple premises. Shockingly, this incident happened despite heavy police deployment. Instead of preventing this incident, the police were mute spectators. This proves that miscreants had a shield from the police and the current BJP government. Women who were attacked by these goons were asking the police to take action, and the police told them to give complaints in writing. When such incidents are happening in the CM’s constituency, it raises serious questions not only over the law and order situation but also about the failure of intelligence of police. The CM, who is handling the Home portfolio, should immediately step down from his post and accept responsibility for this incident,” the Congress leader said.

AAP leader Amit Palekar said, “This act of police is not just against the Bhandari Samaj but also the Hindu culture at large. Even though the police were present when the scuffle broke out, they did not make any effort to stop the fight. Representing the Bhandari community, I would like to question the CM as to what Bhandaris have done for him to go against them?”

Senior Congress leader Girish Chodankar accused the police of inaction and termed the incident as an attempt to create division between two communities, that was allowed by the police. “The cops who were present in the temple premises, instead of stopping the attackers, were protecting them. Is this some force that is particularly targeting the Bhandari community in Goa? Earlier BJP divided people on the basis of religion, since that failed in Goa, they are dividing communities within religions.


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