Accused involved in Goa desecrations not our member: AAP

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Panaji, July 15 (IANS) The AAP in Goa on Saturday rejected allegations made by a ruling BJP MLA that a 50-year-old taxi driver, arrested for a series of religious desecrations, was a member of its party.

In a statement issued here, the AAP said that the allegations levelled by Nilesh Cabral, BJP MLA from Curchorem assembly constituency where a significant number desecrations occurred, was “loose talk”.

“The Aam Aadmi Party denies that the alleged culprit arrested by the police in connection with the recent incidents of desecration of religious symbols is our party volunteer. The accused, Francis Pereira, is neither an AAP volunteer nor was he associated in anyway with our Curchorem team in any party activity,” the statement said.

Hours after Pereira was arrested on Saturday by the police, Cabral, who has announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for the police team which made the arrest, had said that Pereira was an “active AAP supporter”.

“The matter is under investigation. AAP sincerely hopes the police will get to the bottom of the whole deplorable episode and accordingly launch a full-fledged prosecution backed by a thorough investigation and evidence and not get unduly influenced by loose-mouthed talk of legislators,” the AAP’s statement added.

Police claim that Pereira was responsible for a string of desecrations over the last few weeks, in which dozens of Catholic and Hindu icons were damaged.

–IANS

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