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Goa CEO orders probe into priest's viral speech

IANS
The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Goa has ordered a probe into a viral video, in which a Catholic priest is seen slandering the BJP as an anti-minority party and saying that the late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar suffered from pancreatic cancer as a wrath of God.

Panaji: The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Goa has ordered a probe into a viral video, in which a Catholic priest is seen slandering the BJP as an anti-minority party and saying that the late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar suffered from pancreatic cancer as a wrath of God.

A spokesperson for the CEO said that the South Goa District Magistrate, who is also the Returning Officer, has been directed to probe the video. "The South Goa District Magistrate has been ordered to probe whether the contents of the speech violate the model code of conduct," the spokesperson said.

Earlier on Sunday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wrote to the Election Commission (EC) demanding a probe into the controversial sermon delivered by the parish priest Father Conceicao D'Silva.

D'Silva accused the BJP of harassing the minorities and urged his parishioners not to vote for the party.

"The said video clip depicts a priest addressing the 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 the complaint to the CEO.

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

In the undated video, D'Silva also 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 and 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."