Social activist Aires Rodrigues today filed a complaint with authorities against the alleged illegal and unauthorised public meeting organised by the BJP on the Dabolim Airport premises which was addressed by the party’s president Amit Shah. The BJP has, however, denied the charge and said the event was held outside the airport premises and all required permissions to host it were taken. In the complaint addressed to the Secretary of Ministry of Civil Aviation, Chief Secretary of Goa and the Director General of Police, Rodrigues sought that an FIR be registered against the organisers of the event besides Shah and all other dignitaries present at the meeting yesterday. “They cannot now claim to be ignorant of the legal provisions,” he said in the complaint, a copy of which was made available to the media here.
Rodrigues, who is also an advocate, claimed that probably for the first time ever in the history of the country, a public meeting was organised in the high-security precincts of an airport. He alleged that Shah was allowed to to address party workers within the airport premises in total violation of law. Stating that the Goa civilian airport functions within the Naval air base and is a Defence establishment, he added a carpeted podium, chairs for dignitaries and sound system were all set up at the entrance of the airport terminal.
“Shah had arrived at 11.15 AM and addressed the public meeting with the airport and police officials conveniently looking the other way while the law was being blatantly breached,” he alleged. He claimed the event, which was held in “complete and gross abuse of power”, was attended by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Union Minister Sripad Naik, Goa BJP Chief Vinay Tendulkar, Ministers and MLAs besides hundreds of people who were “herded” to the airport.
Rodrigues claimed the event also caused inconvenience to travellers. Also, the airport being considered a security installation, no public meeting could have been held there and it amounted to a violation of the other enactments covering vital installations like airports, he said. Rodrigues has sought an immediate inquiry to ascertain which officers allowed the “illegal” public meeting and “stringent” action in accordance with law be taken against them. When contacted, a BJP leader said all permissions required to host the event were taken.
“As far as my knowledge goes, we have taken all the permissions required to host the function,” state panchayat minister and Dabolim MLA Mauvin Godinho told PTI. The airport is located in Dabolim constituency. He said the function was held outside the airport and not inside, as it was made out to be. “The function was held only for seven minutes and no one was put to inconvenience,” Godinho said. He said the people who had come for the function had parked their vehicles far away and no one was put to inconvenience.