ISSN 2330-717X

India: Priest Receives Election Threats

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By Bosco de Sousa Eremita

A priest contesting state legislative assembly elections in Goa said he has received threats from unidentified persons ahead of polls in March.

Blessed Sacrament Father Bismarque Dias said he awoke early this morning to the sound of banging on his front door.

Voices from several individuals shouted that they would teach him a lesson for standing in the elections. The crowd then dispersed, he said.

“I was surprised, as I do not have enemies,” the priest said.

Fr Dias, who is running as an independent candidate from Cumbarjua constituency near Old Goa, said he would write to the Election Commission to get his constituency declared “sensitive.”

The priest declined to elaborate on whether he had received permission to contest the elections.

“The issue of permission is not important at the moment because at the end of the day, religion is there to support the cause I am here for,” he said.

He added that members of the public had promoted his candidacy in the absence of state leadership.

Fr Dias has previously led people’s movements against illegal mining, land use and other issues and said his participation in the election aimed to help the ailing land, trees and children of the state.

Goa, a small state of 1.3 million people on the western Indian coast, goes to the polls on March 3.

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