Goa port official receives death threats


Panaji : Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) chairman Praveen Agarwal has received death threats a few days after he accused a band of fisherman, who are led by a Goa cabinet minister, of being involved in ferrying Pakistani nationals on Indian soil.

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Kumar received an anonymous letter on Saturday, threatening him that he would be killed soon in a road accident.

The letter, sent through a post box located in the Sada area of Vasco, a port town in South Goa, said: “There are a lot of road accidents in Goa. And you commute by road too. You may meet with an accident one of these days. No one will know.”

MPT authorities have lodged a first information report (FIR) with the Vasco police.

In an article published in some of the regional dailies last week, the MPT chairman had said that fishermen working at the Khariwada jetty located within the port premises were involved in smuggling, pilferage as well as illegally landing Pakistani sailors on Goan shores.

“Instances of Pakistani seamen employed on international merchant ships being ferried by Khariwada fishing trawlers and boats to shore have been frequently reported, even though this is expressly prohibited by law,” Agarwal had said in his article.

Claiming that the Khariwada slum was functioning illegally, Agarwal said that various central security agencies had repeatedly warned that the jetty was a security hazard.

State revenue minister Jose Philip D’Souza leads the group of 200 families of fishermen working at Khariwada and has repeatedly refused moves to relocate the jetty, arguing that the MPT had no right to force the fishermen to move.

“He (Agarwal) is using the ruse of security cover to harass fishermen,” D’Souza said.