Closely following ex-priest’s death probe: Goa church

Panaji, Nov 20 (IANS) The influential Roman Catholic Church in Goa on Friday said it was “closely following” the case of the mysterious death of activist and ex-priest Bismarque Dias, now being probed by the Goa Police Crime Branch.

In a statement here, Fr. Olavo Caiado, director of Diocesan Centre for Social Communications Media, Goa, said church authorities were working quietly to ensure that a proper investigation was conducted into the death of Dias, whose body was fished out of Mandovi river on November 7.

“From day one, church authorities in Goa, through the Council for Social Justice and Peace and others have been expressing solidarity with his family in this painful situation,” the statement said.

“They have been closely following the case, without publicising their efforts, to see a proper investigation to bring out the truth in the matter,” it said.

The Goa church serves as a socio-religious guide for 26 percent Catholics living in the state.

Dias had led a string of agitations against controversial real estate projects across Goa. His death resulted in protests across the state by civil society outfits and the opposition parties.

The case, registered as an unnatural death, was handed over to the Crime Branch by Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, even as district police insisted there was no evidence to suggest murder.

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