Goa

BJP wants EC to probe speech by Goa priest


Panaji, Apr 14 (IANS): The BJP on Sunday wrote to the Election Commission demanding a probe in a controversial sermon delivered by a Catholic priest which it said could destabilize religious harmony in Goa.

In a video that has gone viral, parish priest of Father Conceicao D'Silva is heard addressing devotees at the Raia Church in south Goa and alleging that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar died due to cancer as a wrath of God for encouraging pollution and trying to cancel government holidays of the Catholics.

D'Silva also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of harassing minorities and urged his parishioners not to vote for it.

"The said video clip depicts a priest addressing people within a religious institution and creating an atmosphere of hate and fear against a particular political party and a specific religion," BJP Panaji Mandal General Secretary Vishnu Naik said in a complaint to the Goa Chief Electoral Officer.

"This matter needs a thorough investigation and the said priest must be booked for spreading hate and destabilizing religious harmony," said the letter.

In the undated video, D'Silva spoke about coal dust pollution in the port town of Vasco da Gama, 35 km from Panaji.

"It (coal dust) is all over, in the food, water, houses. People protested, held morchas, meetings, but Parrikar did not pay heed. His pockets were filled. Therefore God gave him cancer," he alleged.

"Parrikar had even tried to take away school holidays. And he died in suffering. Pancreatic cancer is the worst cancer. Those who cross the path of God are invariably punished," he said.

Asked for a comment, Secretary to Archbishop Fr. Loiola Pereira said: "I am aware of the video and the Bishop's House has been informed about it."

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