BJP MLA Nilesh Cabral today claimed that the 50-year-old man arrested for allegedly desecrating the religious places was a supporter of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which was rejected by the Arvind Kejriwal-led party. The Goa police has arrested Francis Pereira, in connection with the alleged desecration of holy crosses in South Goa district. The accused had told the police that he “casually” vandalised 12 crosses over the last fortnight with no intention to create an enmity, a senior police officer had said. “Francis Pereira is a AAP supporter. During the recently held Goa Assembly election he was actively canvassing for the AAP,” claimed Cabral. “It is for the police to investigate. Find out whether there are other people involved. Whether it is AAP or anybody else it is for the police to decide. I just expressed that he was AAP supporter and he was very much involved in the last election with his vehicle canvassing for AAP,” the MLA told reporters.
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Refuting the claim, AAP said, “Francis Pereira, is neither an AAP volunteer nor was he associated in anyway with our Curchorem team in any party activity,”. “Cabral’s claim that the culprit is an ‘active supporter of AAP ‘is absurd and perhaps stems from his anger at AAP’s recent agitation against the pathetic condition of roads built in Curchorem less than a year ago,” the Kejriwal-led party said in a statement. “The matter is under investigation. AAP sincerely hopes that the police will get to the bottom of the deplorable episode and accordingly launch a full-fledged prosecution backed by a thorough investigation and evidence,” added the statement.