Chief Minister promises action against vandals *Three Kerala nurses stranded in Saudi

March 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Goa, India, newsletter-india, Persecution

Goa New Chief MinisterGoa, March 14, 2012: Goa archdiocese calls for restraint among Christian and Muslim communities targeted in the attacks.

The chief minister of Goa says that the destruction of gravestones in the state is the handiwork of people unhappy over the recent elections.

Manohar Parrikar of the Bharatiya Janata Party told media persons yesterday that more than a hundred Christian and Muslim gravestones were destroyed in areas where his party’s candidates won last week.

The attacks were on March 10, a day after Parrikar took over as the chief minister. He has assured both communities that the attackers would be brought to justice.

He claimed the attacks were meant to “defame” his government and warned that the “strictest action” would be taken against those responsible.

Forty-five headstones and crosses were broken at the Guardian Angel Church cemetery in Curchorem, about 50 km south of the state capital Panaji.

Vandals also targeted 67 graves in a Muslim cemetery in Curchorem.

A roadside cross and the roof of a chapel in Mapusa near Panaji were also damaged.

Police have been instructed to use all resources to identify and arrest suspects in the attacks, Parrikar said, adding that patrols in the areas have been increased and additional police have been deployed to secure religious sites.

“At the moment, we have not got any leads in our investigation,” said South Goa police superintendent Arwind Gawas.

Parrikar also said he would consider invoking the National Security Act and that he would “make sure that the culprits remain behind bars forever.”

Compensation has been offered to repair graves and a cash reward of 50,000 rupees (about US$1,000) has been announced for any information leading to an arrest in the case.

Meanwhile, the Goa archdiocese has urged restraint among communities angered by the vandal attacks.

In a statement this week, the Goa Church said people’s final resting places were next in importance only to houses of worship and therefore demanded the utmost respect and veneration.

Akbar Ali, a member of the Goa Muslim Forum, said he did not know who was behind the attacks.

“The police are investigating and we are waiting for the outcome.”

– ucan

Three Kerala nurses stranded in Saudi


RiyadhSaudi Arabia, March 11, 2012: Three nurses from Kerala have been left stranded in Saudi Arabia for more than two years, with no source of income and no documents to come back to the country. “We have been unemployed for more than two years, and are unable to return home because we do not have the papers,” Saramma V, one of the nurses, informed from Riyadh, the Saudi capital. “The clinic which we worked suddenly closed down on January 3, 2010, without giving us any prior notice or options for job change. Since then we are stranded here and can’t work nor return home,” said Saramma. The other two nurses are Subhadra O K and Sreelatha V N. All the three nurses were working with a clinic in Riyadh for the past many years under the sponsorship of a Saudi national who passed away in 2009.

Later the management of the clinic was given to his son who transferred it to another Saudi national. After the new person took over, it closed down.

An organisation based in Saudi Arabia, that provides legal assistance, has now petitioned the Indian ambassador in Saudi Arabia, requesting the immediate intervention of the embassy for the three nurses.

A labour court in May last year issued a judgement favouring the nurses, ordering the sponsor to pay us wages and immediately return all our documents. He filed an appeal in the High Court and our case was rejected in January this year and now they are helpless. The Indian embassy is afraid to take up the issue against the Saudi authorities.


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