Man held for questioning Parrikar at Goa meet released

Panaji, Jan 19 (IANS) The South Goa district police on Thursday released Ramdas Naik, who was arrested late on Wednesday after he questioned Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar during a corner meeting in Shiroda assembly constituency.

Naik was arrested on Wednesday and booked under Section 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code by Ponda police, soon after he asked Parrikar questions about the BJP-led government’s controversial decision to amend the tenancy laws in the state, due to which thousands of ongoing tenancy rights litigations were transferred from civil administration to trial courts.

“I am a BJP member and have worked for the party in the last two elections. When Parrikar came near the Sai Baba temple for a corner meeting and started speaking, I tried to ask him why the state government had amended the tenancy law, which is causing a lot of hardship to people,” Naik told reporters.

“While I was asking questions, policemen caught me and dragged me to the police station, where I was booked under Section 151. I was released today (Thursday afternoon) after all formalities were completed,” Naik said.

Ponda police Inspector Sudesh Naik said Ramdas was arrested for trying to obstruct the meeting, attended by around 200 people.

The Congress has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of being anti-democratic and trying to suppress questions at every level.

“What happened in Borim is with a small worker who raised this question. Even their leaders have no rights to raise questions,” All India Congress Committee Secretary Girish Chodankar told IANS, adding that the BJP is misusing state machinery ahead of the February 4 polls.

While BJP spokesperson Sadanand Shet Tanavde was not available for comment, Goa BJP Media Cell was also not forthcoming on Naik’s arrest.