Dead Goa activist’s kin refuses to bury body, demand probe

Panaji (Matters India): Supporters of former Catholic priest Bismarque Dias, who died in mysterious circumstances last week, have refused to bury his body, even as the opposition and civil society groups have demanded a more focused probe.

The body of Bismarque, who had led a string of agitations against controversial real estate projects across Goa, was found on November 7 near a sluice gate along the Mandovi river, giving rise to protests across the state by civil society groups as well as the opposition.

“We have resolved not to collect Bismarque’s mortal remains or have the funeral until police conduct a satisfactory probe,” Bismarque’s brother Mario told IANS on Wednesday.

Mario, in a letter to the Goa police chief, demanded a probe by the Crime Branch, claiming his brother had received death threats in the recent past which had been conveyed to police, but no action had been initiated, The Indian Express reported.

“He had not only received many death threats to dissuade his activism work, but had even lodged written complaints at the Old Goa police station, on which no action has been taken even after the unnatural death which has shocked all of Goa except the Old Goa police station, who appeared to have made up their mind about the cause of death without any credible investigative efforts.”

Even the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from St. Andre, Vishnu Wagh, demanded a probe by a Special Investigation Team.

“Taking into consideration the general public opinion, I hereby request your goodself to appoint a SIT under the leadership of senior police officers to find the exact cause of Bismarque’ s death and expel all sorts of suspicions in this regard,” Wagh wrote to the chief minister on Wednesday.

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