log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 16, 2022 GOA Cong exodus continues, Margao block chief, other leaders quit IN SHORT >> Mastermind in land grab case rearrested PANAJI: Royson Rodrigues, accused of fraudulently acquiring and selling more than 60 prime properties, was on Friday arrested in another land scam at Assagao. According to a complaint lodged at Mapusa police station, eight persons forged documents of landed property bearing survey number 39/6 in the Assagao village through which they claimed rights over the property. The case was transferred to the Special Investigating Team probing the land grab cases. Of the eight accused, Branca Diniz is dead while Paulina Diniz, Mariano Gonsalves, Lenchu James, Anand Mandrekar, Rita Fernandes and Joaquin Mascarenhas are being investigated and Royson is placed under arrest. 28 top officers transferred PANAJI: The Pramod Sawant government on Thursday effected the transfer of 28 officers in the cadre of Mamlatdars, Joint Mamlatdars and Vigilance officers. Amendments to Municipalities Act PANAJI: The State govt on Thursday notified amendment to the Goa Municipalities (Amendment) Act, 2022. The amendments were passed by the Legislative Assembly of Goa on July 21,2022 and assented to by the Governor of Goa on September 6, 2022. Mumbai hosp under Mediclaim scheme PANAJI: The State government on Thursday announced that it has recognized “Global Hospital, Mumbai” for their treatment for Gastro Surgical Works & Transplant Surgeries under “Goa Mediclaim Scheme”. IMD forecasts heavy rain today PANAJI: The Indian Meteorological Department has forecast heavy rainfall at isolated places across the State on September 16. It said heavy to very heavy showers are expected in the North and South. However, the forecast did not warn of any rainfall from Saturday. WEATHER >> Max: 30 C Min: 24 C Humidity: 90% TIDES Low: High: 08:15 20:44 02:49 13:48 Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday 14 pages PRICE ` 8 2 The Goan (Playstore) PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VIII, NO. 89 GOA BJP karyakartas simmering with anger, to wait and watch 3 Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 9 INFO Must try walnut remedies for a perfect skin Day after joining BJP, Kamat faces acid test in Margao ALL EYES ON ELECTION OF MMC CHAIRPERSON TODAY THE GOAN I NETWORK MARGAO Will the saffron flag fly atop the Margao Municipal building after a gap of 17 long years with Cong-turned-BJP MLA Digambar Kamat leading from the front to get his Man Friday Damu Shirodkar at the helm of Margao Municipal Council? Or, will the Goa Forward Party and like-minded Councillors put up an united front to checkmate Kamat and the BJP from forming the Council on Friday? These and a host of questions have come to the fore on the eve of the election of the Margao Municipal Chairperson scheduled on Friday as the battle lines seemed finally drawn. The election has assumed significance and comes against the backdrop THE NUMBER GAME On paper, Kamat’s entry into BJP should ensure smooth sailing for BJP in the 25-member civic body BJP’s nine councillors and Kamat’s seven councillors will take the tally of the group to 16 On the other hand, Independent Ganashyam Shirodkar, who was proposed by three BJP-backed Councillors earlier has backing of eight GF-backed councillors Two GF-backed Councillors Raju Naik and Vitorino Tavares proposed Ganashyam’s candidature just before the process drew to a close FLASHBACK: The last time the Council was under BJP rule was 17 years ago when Kamlini Painginkar had presided over the affairs before Kamat moved into the Congress in 2005. of Thursday’s political developments that unfolded in the State that has realigned forces and groups in the Civic body. On paper, Kamat’s entry into the BJP on the eve of the MMC Chairperson election should ensure smooth sailing for the BJP to cross the magic figure of 13 members in the 25-member Civic body. For, BJP’s nine Councilors ON PAGE 2 Candidate sends letter to presiding officer fearing polls may not be free and fair History repeats itself as Margao civic alliance down in the dumps Key issues plaguing Margao continue to remain unresolved and Kamat’s seven Councillors will take the tally of the group in the Civic body to 16, offering a comfortable position for the candidature of Damu Shirodkar. On the other hand, Independent Councillor Ganashyam Shirodkar, who was proposed by three BJP-backed Councillors before the political developments unfolded in the city on Thursday, has now received the backing of the eight Goa Forward-backed Councillors. This became evident when two Goa Forward-backed Councillors Raju Naik and Vitorino Tavares have proposed Ganashyam’s candidature just before the process of nomination papers drew to a close on Thursday noon. Political observers, however, have sounded caution for the two camps, warning that the numbers games may change on Friday, with the ghost of cross voting coming >Continued on P5 PANAJI he Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a First Information Report (FIR) into the mysterious death of BJP leader Sonali Phogat and is expected to meet the officers of Goa Police on Friday to examine the case papers of the probe. They will be accompanied by forensic experts. The Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday asked the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to get the case probed by the central agency hours after the Goa government sent an official communiqué requesting a CBI probe. The Goan has reliably learnt that a team of CBI officers was slated to meet North Goa’s Superintendent of Police around 4:30 pm on Thursday but it T Federer announces retirement from pro tennis at age 41 14 POLL PLAY CM goes all out in Margao Elections for the post of MMC chairperson has turned out a matter of prestige for the BJP, with Pramod Sawant personally descending in the city to go into a huddle with the BJPbacked Councillors on Thursday HECTIC ACTIVITY Govt rest house at Monte Hill saw intense political activity after CM and senior party leaders held parleys with party-backed Councillors Sawant also went into a huddle separately with the original BJP-backed Councillors The meeting ended on a positive note, there was no difference of opinion amongst the original party Councillors and the new comers. You will come to know the results tomorrow — Pramod Sawant, SUPPORT POURS IN Councillor Mahesh Amonkar said he will vote for Damu because of the appeal made by CM Councillor Sadanand Naik, who had filed his Chief Minister nomination paper for the post, said he will withdraw his candidature as per the decision of the party leaders >> See pg 2 Lack of staff exposes Bank heist at Sanquelim, CM, new BJP entrants to meet Modi, Shah safety at Colvale jail ` 0 lakh, gold stolen 1 Only one guard was on duty at NDPS block where the fight broke out last weekend THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Apart from the fact that the recent scuffle between two rival groups of undertrials in the Colvale Central Jail exposed the security system yet again, purported lack of staff manning the blocks has triggered a fresh debate over the government’s seriousness to tackle recurring problems within the premises. Three inmates – two of whom were Nigerian nationals – sustained injuries in a fight that broke out over a petty issue last weekend. Sources said the NDPS block, where the incident occurred, had only one jail guard Mahesh Naik on duty while the rest allegedly failed to report to work. “Against the sanctioned six jail guards, the NDPS block has four. On Sunday night, the block had three absentees while only one was on duty,” a jail official told The Goan. When a verbal argument escalated into a fight and no helping hand to Naik, he raised an alarm in a desperate bid to summon his colleagues from other blocks to control Against the sanctioned six jail guards, the NDPS block has four. When a verbal argument escalated into a fight on Sunday, and no helping hand to Naik, he raised an alarm in a desperate bid to summon his colleagues from other blocks to control the situation the situation. Sources also state that since many blocks face water shortage, the jail officials are forced to keep some cells unlocked after 6 pm by when the gates have to be mandatorily shut. On Sunday, the inmates were freely roaming till around 8 pm when the fight reached from the first to the ground floor of the NDPS block. The Prisons Department is conducting an internal inquiry with Mapusa police already investigating a case of >Continued on P5 n Manager held at gunpoint n 3 arrested THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI A taxi operator is among three persons arrested and two others are on a run in a bizarre bank robbery in Sanquelim. The police are however investigating “all angles” into the case. Jitendra Kumar and Raju Kumar Das, both daily wagers and residents of Goa Velha; and taxi operator Sahil Khan alias Niyaz from Sattari who is believed to be the mastermind behind the filmy-style daring bank heist were arrested after a massive hunt by the North Goa Police. SBI Querim Bank Manager Sunil Pachanekar was held hostage by unknown persons, who not only criminally restrained him but also held him at gunpoint to execute the planned robbery. The 36-year-old Mumbai native was targeted while he was on his two-wheeler to proceed to his home in Caranzalem. “They caught the Bank Manager when he was near his two-wheeler to return to his home in Caranzalem. Thereafter some masked THE ROBBERY: BLOW BY BLOW 36-year-old manager targeted while he was on his two-wheeler to proceed to his home in Caranzalem Masked men forcibly take him in a WagonR Car to various destinations at Sanquelim Force him to open main shutter of SBI Querim Branch and unlock safe vault Held hostage from 8:30 pm on September 13 to 8:30 am on September 14 Was mentally tortured and asked to call the cashier to open the bank and lockers Accused steal cash of Rs 10 lakh approximately in different denominations and 6 pouches containing gold belonging to customers Victim then dumped in Old Goa where he approached the local police station to narrate the incident men forcibly took him in a WagonR Car bearing registration number GA-01-R-7724 to various destinations at Sanquelim. They then forced the victim to open the main shutter of the SBI Querim Branch and unlock their safe vault”, Inspector General of Police Omvir Singh said at a press conference held in police headquarters on Friday evening. The victim was held hostage from 8:30 pm on September 13 to 8:30 am on September 14. The victim, the officer added, was mentally tortured and asked to call the cashier to open the bank and the lockers. As he quoted the complaint letter, Singh further said that the accused stole away cash of Rs 10 lakh approximately in different denominations and 6 pouches containing gold belonging to customers. The victim was then dumped in Old Goa >Continued on P5 CBI registers FIR in Phogat’s case, to meet Goa police today THE GOAN I NETWORK SPORTS THE ROAD AHEAD CBI team likely to meet the officer and probably the investigating team on Friday To take charge of all documents including evidence collected from Goa, Haryana, Gurugram, and Noida A re-visit to the now-partially dismantled Curlies shack is on the cards The CBI team is likely to register a fresh First Information Report Statements of accused Sudhir Sangwan and Sukhwinder Singh, other suspects and witnesses to be recorded again was rescheduled. “They (CBI) are likely to meet the officer and probably the investigating team too on Friday. All the documents pertaining to the case including evidence collected from Goa, Haryana, Gurugram, and Noida will also be handed over,” an official privy to the development, said. A re-visit to the now-partially dismantled Curlies shack is on the cards. Sources said the CBI will record statements of accused Sudhir Sangwan and Sukhwinder Singh, other suspects, and witnesses afresh. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant cleared the file to hand over the probe to CBI, a day after Khap Panchayat in Hisar gave an ultimatum to the Hyderabad police contact Goa Police for help in drugs case government to decide by September 23 or face agitation. The 42-year-old died en route to a private hospital in Anjuna on August 23. The State police’s initial theory of a fatal heart attack was dismissed by an autopsy report that confirmed injuries. A further investigation revealed that she was forcibly intoxicated. The politician’s family back in Hisar demand- PANAJI: After a row over Hyderabad police’s jurisdiction in the arrest of a suspected drug peddler from Anjuna last month, the Southern State police finally approached its counterparts in Goa seeking a coordinated effort to investigate the case. Highly placed sources told The Goan that Hyderabad City Commissioner C V Anand spoke to Director General of Goa Police Jaspal Singh seeking his consent to send a team for investigation. >> See pg 5 ed the arrest of the two accused and a CBI probe. The accused have been in custody since August 25. Three other accused including Edwin Nunes, who is believed to be the owner of Curlies, were arrested for the drug trade and bailed out thereafter. In a CCTV footage of the restaurant that emerged after her death, she was seen dancing with Sangwan. The aide is also purportedly seen forcing her to drink. Another video shows Phogat being escorted out of the restaurant by her aides, now arrested in which she can be seen staggering and almost falling near the staircase on her way out. THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Chief Minister Pramod Sawant will accompany all the eight Congress entrants to Delhi shortly specifically to meet the Bharatiya Janata Party’s central leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and National president, J P Nadda. Sawant told the media on Thursday that no date has been fixed yet for the Delhi visit but it will happen “very soon”. Although the chief minister has ruled out any cabinet reshuffle now, his visit to Raj Bhavan to meet Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai stirred up speculation. Sawant on his part dismissed media speculation over replacing three ministers in the cabinet by inducting the new entrants and said his meeting with Sreedharan was a routine one. “It was a scheduled meeting to discuss a programme to be held on September 17 (PMs Birthday). Not related to politics,” Sawant told the media after the meeting with Pillai. On Wednesday, the long speculated ‘operation kamal’ was finally executed with Sawant and BJP State president, Sadanand Tanavade, formally inducting eight Congress MLAs into the party. The eight MLAs who split the Opposition Congress and then ‘merged’ with the BJP are: Digambar Kamat, Aleixo Sequeira, Michael Lobo, Sankalp Amonkar, Kedar Naik, Rudolf Fernandes, Rajesh Phaldesai and Delilah Lobo. The development has triggered intense speculation with media reports suggesting that Kamat, Sequeira and Lobo have been assured >Continued on P5
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