South Goa Journalists Association will hold an hour long dharna at Lohia Maidan on 17th June to protest against the police action of summoning journalists to record their statements in connection with the 25th May incident at Balli.
Terming the police action as an attempt to gag free press, it was pointed out that scribes were merely carrying out their duties and condemned the police action of seeking to name them as witnesses in their investigations.
Photographer for Gomantak Soiru Komarpant who is one of the journalists summoned by the police, said the police are trying to brow beat journalists.
Former editor of Rashtramat Sitaram Tengse demanded to know how the police can name journalists as witnesses and summon them to the police station for recording their statements.
Asilo Staff Relent, Sign Form
Asilo staff at Mapusa finally relented and signed the “willingness to work” forms on Monday thereby paving way for commissioning the new district hospital under the private public participation module of the government.
The staff relented after the Director of Health Services gave a written assurance that they would continue to be government employees getting their salaries through the Accounts Department and their services at Asilo under the private management will be considered to be on deputation.
The staff had initially refused to sign the “willingness to work” forms as their status was not clarified and they were not willing to work for a private firm that will be managing the hospital.
However, detractors of the PPP module for the district hospital have expressed surprise that while the government will continue to pay the salaries of the staff, the government will also be paying the private firm fees for every patient treated by it.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party that had threatened to launch an agitation to stop handing over the hospital to a private party reiterated that there is a Rs. 40 crore scam in the plan.
Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar pointed out that the government rejected the bids of two companies that had offered to run the hospital without asking for any funds from the government but charging the patients.
However, Radiant Life Care Pvt. Ltd. that has been awarded the contract besides charging the government Rs. 1.98 crore every year, will also charge the patients, he said.