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I-T department raids Velim parish priest

Resentment spread across Velim village on Tuesday, a day after income tax (I-T) officials raided the residence of parish priest Fr Romano Gonsalves, following an anonymous complaint.

Around 400 parishioners of St Francis Xavier Church gathered at the church hall on Tuesday evening and listened as their parish priest recounted details of Monday’s I-T raid and demanded a public apology from the authorities.

“The way they harassed me, it was as if I was a smuggler or robber. I have never had such an experience,” said a visibly agitated Gonsalves, while addressing the meeting.

He added that he was not informed of the reason for the raid, just that they were I-T officers and had to carry out the inquiry.

According to Gonsalves, the I-T officials arrived at the church when he was away.

When the Velim parish priest reached the church he was subjected to a series of questions regarding his income, his assets, how he financed himself and his recent vacation in America.

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