log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday FRIDAY JULY 23, 2021 Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday 8 pages PRICE ` 6 2 doses of Pfizer, AstraZeneca shots effective against Delta: Study PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VII, NO. 36 GOA 6 The Goan (Playstore) Nailed by vigilance, will MMC ‘quotation raj’ end? 2 Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 GOA 12 villages virtually cut off from Valpoi as heavy rains lash Sattari Cong leaders meet Rahul, speak their mind on party leadership NO DECISION ANNOUNCED, BUT THERE’S A MESSAGE OF UNITY THE GOAN I NETWORK MARGAO Senior Congress leaders had an one-on-one interaction with Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Thursday, as the Congress leader obtained feedback from the party seniors over the party’s state of affairs ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections. During the interaction, various issues, including strengthening the party structures, alliances, besides change in leadership was discussed with Rahul Gandhi individually, sources said. Sources said senior party leaders, who had in the past demanded change in GPCC leadership are believed to have insisted on a change in guard in the Goa Congress. They are believed to have insisted that the party take note IN SHORT >> Former MP Gopal Mayekar no more MAPUSA: Former MP, ex-minister and educationist Prof Gopal Rao Mayekar passed away late Thursday evening while undergoing treatment at the Goa Medical College, Bambolim. He was 87. He is survived by his wife Usha Mayekar, sons and daughter. >> See pg 3 5 more fall prey to Covid, 97 new cases PANAJI: Goa recorded five more deaths due to Covid in the past 24 hours even as 97 new cases of the infection came to light. The positivity rate in the State is 2.5 % and with 129 recoveries the active Covid count now stands at 1,376. Media group Dainik Bhaskar raided NEW DELHI: Income Tax raids took place at offices of the media group Dainik Bhaskar and an Uttar Pradesh-based news channel this morning. WEATHER >> Max: 28.5 C Min: 24.7 C Humidity: 98% RAINFALL: 79.48 IN TIDES Low: High: 03:40 16:29 10:57 21:42 Luizinho: Declined to take over reins of GPCC, let party decide Senior Goa Congress leaders with Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Thursday. of social engineering, more so when the Aam Admi Party is bracing up to make inroads in minority areas. Another strong votary of change in guard is reported to have conveyed to Rahul Gandhi that the party may not come to power if the Congress goes to the polls with the status quo. AICC in-charge, Goa Dinesh Gundu Rao, on the other hand, issued a release from the national capital stating Rahul Gandhi met senior leaders from Goa and told them to work unitedly and to promote young and new faces to win the Assembly elections and fulfill the popular wishes of Goans by defeating MARGAO: Congress veteran and Navelim MLA Luizinho Faleiro has said that he politely declined to take over the reins of Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) during discussions with Rahul Gandhi. He, however, hastened to add that he has left it for Rahul Gandhi to take a call on the leadership issue, saying he would go by the decision of the party high command on the GPCC leadership. “When Rahul Gandhi asked me to take over the reins of office, I politely turned it down. I reminded him how I was sent to Goa to take over the GPCC leadership before the 2017 election. And, I also reminded how the Congress could not form the government as the party leaders were then insisting on having clearly majority of 21 MLAs”, he said, adding “I told Rahul Gandhi to decide on the leadership question, saying that he would accept the leader decided by the party high command”. >Continued on P5 Covid left over 1 lakh kids orphans in India: Study 8-FOLD INCREASE IN JUST ONE MONTH AGENCIES WASHINGTON More than 1.5 million children around the world, including 1,19,000 from India, have lost at least one parent, custodial grandparent, or grandparent, as a result of Covid, according to a new study published in The Lancet. Of those, more than 1 million children experienced the death of one or both parents during the first 14 months of the pandemic, and another half a million experienced the death of a grandparent caregiver living in their own home, the study estimates. In India, the researchers estimate an 8.5-fold increase in the numbers of children newly orphaned (43,139) in April 2021 compared to March 2021 (5,091). Children who have lost a parent or caregiver are at risk of profound short- and longterm adverse effects on their health, safety, and wellbeing, such as increasing the risk of disease, physical abuse, sexual violence, and adolescent pregnancy. “For every two Covid deaths worldwide, one child is left behind to face the death of a parent or caregiver. By April 30, 2021, these 1.5 million chil- NO COVID ORPHANS IN GOA DURING APRIL-MAY: REPORT IN RAJYA SABHA PANAJI: Goa was among 8 other States that did not report any children who had lost both or either of parents to Covid or had died because of any reason from April to May 28, 2021. According to a written reply given by the Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smriti Zubin Irani, in the Rajya Sabha, the total number of such children in the country was 645. Uttar Pradesh had the greatest number of affected children (158), followed by Andhra where 119 children lost either one or both the parents due to Covid, or have lost their own lives or any other reason during this period. dren had become the tragic overlooked consequence of the 3 million Covid-19 deaths worldwide, and this number will only increase as the pandemic progresses,” said lead author Dr Susan Hillis, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Covid-19 Response Team. “Our findings highlight the urgent need to prioritise these children and invest in evidence-based programmes and services to protect and support them right now and to continue to support them for many years into the future - because orphanhood does not go away,” he added. HIGH DRAMA IN BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT The researchers estimated figures based on Covid mortality data from March 2020 through April 2021, and national fertility statistics for 21 countries. The countries with the highest numbers of children who lost primary caregivers (parents or custodial grandparents) included South Africa, Peru, United States, India, Brazil, and Mexico. The countries with rates of Covid-19-associated deaths among primary caregivers (>1/1000 children) included Peru, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Iran, United States, Argentina, and Russia. NEW DELHI High drama continued in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha for the third straight day of the monsoon session today as Opposition MPs staged protests over a range of issues, including the Pegasus snooping controversy and today’s I-T raids on media houses. In the Rajya Sabha, Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw was forced to cut short his statement on the row by the uproar among opposition members. As soon as Vaishnaw rose to speak on Pegasus, Trinamool MP Shantanu Sen snatched his papers, tore, and flung them at Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh. This forced the minister to lay the paper on the table instead. Heated words were exchanged between Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and the Trinamool MP. Marshals had to intervene to bring the situation under control. The Rajya Sabha was later adjourned till tomorrow, the third time through the day. It was first adjourned till 12 noon and then till 2 pm after MPs trooped into the well of the House raising slogans and holding placards. “Members seem to be not interested in discussing people’s issues,” Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said, adjourning the proceedings earlier in the day. Sen said after the house was adjourned, Puri threatened him and “was about to attack me physically”. “My colleagues came to my rescue. This was very unfortunate,” Sen said. RJD member Manoj Jha later said the IT minister’s attitude was “unfortunate”. 8 Court orders framing charges against Digambar, Churchill Both asked to be present in court on July 26 THE GOAN I NETWORK MAPUSA A special court in Mapusa on Thursday ordered framing of charges against former chief minister Digambar Kamat and former PWD minister and exCM Churchill Alemao in connection with the infamous Louis Berger money laundering case. LOUIS BERGER CASE The court also directed both the alleged accused Kamat and Alemao to remain present in the court on July 26. Judge Sherin Paul ordered that the charges be framed against Kamat and Alemao in the complaint filed by the Enforcement Directorate. Special Public Prosecutor Siddharth Samant appeared on behalf of the ED, while Adv PS Rao and Adv S Sardesai appeared for Kamat and Alemao respectively. LOUIS BERGER CASE FLASHBACK ED had registered a case under PMLA in 2015 against Kamat, Alemao, Louis Berger and others Kamat along with Alemao and other government officials had been accused of allegedly accepting a $976,630 bribe from officials of US-based consultancy firm Alleged bribe was ostensibly to secure implementation rights of a multi-billion dollar water and sewerage project in Goa According to crime branch, Kamat was allegedly paid over Rs1 cr The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in 2015 against both Kamat and Alemao -- who were ministers in the government in 2010 -Louis Berger and others. Kamat along with Alemao and other government officials have been accused of allegedly accepting a $976,630 bribe in 2010 from officials of US-based Louis Berger consultancy firm ostensibly to secure implementation rights of a multi-billion dollar water and sewerage project in Goa worth Rs1,031 crore funded by the Japan International Co-Operation Agency (JICA). A Congress-led coalition government was in power in the State when the project was cleared in 2010. According to the crime branch of the Goa police which is investigating the case, Kamat, who is currently on bail, was allegedly paid >Continued on P5 Burglars target Panaji, St Cruz churches, decamp with cash PTI THE GOAN I NETWORK MUMBAI India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted very heavy rains for the next three days even as it issued a red alert for the Konkan region. Heavy rains have been lashing Ratnagiri since Thursday, causing rivers to overflow and highway near Lanja village to shut. The Goa highway too has been blocked, while Konkan Railway has completely shut its route. “The IMD has given warnings of extremely heavy rainfall in the next three days & has issued a red & orange alert for the region,” officials said. Water levels in the rivers are constantly rising and citizens staying close by are advised to take adequate precautions. Rescue operations are on in several districts of Maharashtra after relentless rain caused flooding and huge property damage across the region. Visuals of waterlogged streets, submerged cars and struggling people emerged from the state as the downpour continued. Several long-distance trains have been stopped, cancelled or rescheduled on the Konkan Railway route. According to rail officials, around 6,000 passengers were stranded in trains which were regulated at various stations on the Konkan Railway route. OLD GOA Burglars targetted the churches in Panaji and Santa Cruz in the wee hours of Thursday and while cash of about Rs 3,000 was reported stolen from the Panaji church office, there was no cash kept in the office at the Santa Cruz Church. Suspicions have now been raised that burglaries at both churches could be related given that both had occurred during the same night. ST CRUZ CHURCH A burglar broke into the Santa Cruz church office in the wee hours of Thursday by breaking the door lock. However, the burglar had to return empty handed as there was no cash kept in the office. Speaking to reporters about the incident, Parish Priest Fr Ricardo Pinheiro said he noticed that the office door lock was broken at around 5 am. “I immediately called up local MLA Tony Fernandes, former MLA Victor Gonsalves and then the Old Goa police,” Fr Pinheiro said. “The Old Goa police came and did their investigation,” he stated. “Our office is located on the ground floor and our rooms are on the first floor. Since we The door lock of the Santa Cruz church office which was broken by the burglar in an attempt to steal cash. (right) The burglar whose image was captured in one of the CCTV cameras. ON PAGE 3 Five churches targetted in eight months St Cruz MLA, ex-MLA call for early breakthrough do not keep any cash in the office, the burglar was not able to steal anything even though we found the drawers were opened,” the priest added. He further said a computer disc was removed by the burglar thinking that it contained CCTV footage. “The entire church is under CCTV surveillance with 16 CCTV cameras installed at various points and the burglar is clearly seen in some,” Fr Pinheiro stated. “After viewing CCTV footage, it came to my mind that a similar person had come on Wednesday afternoon and made a recce of the place which I pointed to the police who also agreed that it is the same person,” he added and requested the police to catch the culprit so that such incidents are not repeated. A police dog squad was pressed in service to track the movement of the accused. >Continued on P5 Special courts to try ‘tainted’ past, present MLAs THE GOAN I NETWORK Heated words were exchanged between Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Trinamool MP and marshals had to intervene to bring the situation under control Olympics opens today, Deepika in spotlight IMD issues red alert for Konkan region; Goa highway shut MP snatches Pegasus paper from IT minister, tears it P PTI 3 SPORTS MARGAO resent and former MLAs and MPs from Goa, having criminal charges pending against them before various courts may now realize that the ongoing trials will now take place before Judicial Officers designated as Special Courts. In pursuance to the Supreme Court directions in Writ petition (C) No 699 of 2016, the High Court of Bombay has identified and designated special courts in both the districts. In South Goa, District Judge-I and Additional Sessions Judge, South Vincent Milagres D’Silva and Judicial Magistrate First Class, Margao, Judge Carlos Rohin Santana Da Silva have been appointed as designated Judges to head the Special Courts to try crim- THE ROAD AHEAD HC has identified and designated special courts in both the districts In South, District Judge-I and Additional Sessions Judge, South Vincent Milagres D’Silva and Judicial Magistrate First Class, Margao, Judge Carlos Rohin Santana Da Silva have been appointed as designated Judges HC has also appointed one of the District Judges, North Goa and JMFC, Panjim to head the special Courts in North inal cases pending against the former and present MLAs, besides MPs. Similarly, the High Court has appointed one of the District Judges, North Goa and JMFC, Panjim to head the special Courts in North Goa district. Following the circular issued by the High Court in late June last, sources in the know informed that the two designated Courts in South Goa have put in motion the process to ascertain the number of criminal cases pending against the present and former MLAs and MPs from the district. The Goan understands that since the district Judge-I, and Additional Sessions Judge, South was already hearing the mining case against former Chief Minister, Digambar Kamat and corruption case allegedly involving former PWD Minister Churchill Alemao, the same Judge, Vincent D’Silva will hear the pending cases against the two sitting MLAs given his status as Special Court per the High Court directions. Sources informed that the JMFC, Margao Judge Carlos Rohin Santana Da Silva will be the Special Court to try criminal cases pending against the past and present MLAs and MPs from South Goa, in cases which are not triable by the Court of Session. Sources in the know are trying to figure out whether the Tickegate cases, allegedly involving former MLA Dayanand Navekar and eight others, will now be tried before the Special Judge, Carlos Rohin Santana Da Silva since Narvekar is facing various charges, including cheating in the case. The Supreme Court in its judgement had observed that a large number of criminal cases are pending against sitting MPs and MLAs across the country, even cases which are punishable with imprisonment for life. Besides, the Apex Court had observed that other pending cases includes offenses under the Prevention of Corruption >Continued on P5
The new Goa, with a broader profile of people from different parts of India and the world, needs not just a strong local paper but a complete paper. The Goan on Saturday will connect to and be a viable and comprehensive read for locals, other Indians in Goa, NRI and foreigners. It will also be a bridge for Goans in other parts of India all over the world to their home land. The Goan is published by Goa's most reputed industrial houses.