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Goa Forward slams Church on Fr Bismarque death silence

Goa Forward, a member of the ruling alliance, on Friday accused Goa’s Roman Catholic Church of being selective in criticism of the BJP-led government and accused it of adding to the aggravating social tension in the state.

Goa Forward spokesperson Trajano D’Mello also questioned the silence of the Church’s social arm, the Council for Social Justice and Peace (CSJP), on the controversial death of former priest Bismarque Dias in 2015, which the latter’s supporters have linked to the real estate mafia.

D’Mello said: “This CSJP is so much disturbed by religious structures being destroyed.There is a hue and cry about the death of Fr. Bismarque. Why has this organisation remained silent on that? Sensitivity is more to a structure than to a human?”

The Bombay High Court bench in Panaji some weeks back ordered the police to re-investigate the mysterious death of Dias, who was found drowned in a natural water-body near Panaji in 2015.

The re-investigation followed a video clip that showed Dias talking to the camera, naming possible suspects, most of them involved in real-estate trade, in the event of his death.

Dias, even during his tenure as a Catholic priest, had been actively protesting rampant, illegal real estate development in and around his native village of Juvem, near Panaji.

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