BY FLYNN REMEDIOS: As a journalist who has covered the crime beat and spent a lot of time in morgues, outside casualty wards, etc., in Mumbai and Delhi for several years, I am highly disturbed at how the local Goan media – both online and print, as well as the national news agencies and wire services like PTI, IANS, etc in possible tacit connivance with the Goa Police, possibly acting on the instructions of their political masters or the Government of Goa are subtly and stealthily forcing down opinions down the throats of the Goan people. In order words, slowly but surely brain washing the people of Goa in the Fr Bismarque Dias case/murder.
At the start, I would like to state that the purpose of this EDITORIAL is not to run down my fellow journalists from PTI and GoaNews.com, but to point out that there can be a different inference as well, and it is their duty to the people of Goa to point out both the options or inferences in their news reports and not just report one-side of the story or one inference or what has been showed down a police press release or write up by the Police PRO. Friends we must question and counter-question everyone, and not just publish police press releases.
IN CASE ANY OF MY FELLOW JOURNALISTS ARE OFFENDED BY THIS PIECE, PLEASE ACCEPT MY APOLOGY, BUT I FEEL IT MY DUTY TO BRING FORTH TO THE PEOPLE OF GOA THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY.
Here for example is the first para of the PTI report on the results of the diatom test conducted in the Fr Bismarque Dias case“Forensic reports have ruled out foul play into the death of Catholic priest and activist Bismarque while confirming that he died of drowning, police said.”
This is not exactly true. The diatom test only proves that the water (or rather water atoms/molecules) found in Fr Bismarque Dias‘ viscera or body meaning lungs, stomach cavity, etc matches that of the water atoms and molecules of the surrounding water where his body was found. At no point of time, the people of Goa fighting for Justice for Fr Bismarque Dias have claimed that Fr Bismarque was murdered in far away South Goa and his body was later on dumped into the
near the sluice gate. In this case, the diatoms test would have yielded different results. But how can the journalist writing this report confidentially say that forensic reports have ruled out foul play into the death of Catholic priest and activist Bismarque. What if someday it is proved otherwise?
The PTI report quotes Karthik Kashyap, SP – Crime (North Goa) as saying: “We have received the diatom test report. Diatoms in all three exhibits sent are identical. Sternum, lungs and water samples from where the body was found were sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Hyderabad earlier.
What Karthik Kashyap told the PTI correspondent is as follows:“This rules out all theories of murder in any other area and then later dumping the body in the area where the body was found,” Superintendent of Police (Crime Branch), Karthik Kashyap said. What Karthik Kashyap meant to say is that the theory that the murder took place elsewhere has been ruled out. Karthik Kashyap DID NOT SAY murder is ruled out completely.
However, what the local Goan media and wire services have reported and headlined their reports and articles gives the feeling that the SP – Crime of North Goa has ruled out murder based on the diatom analysis report. This is far away from the truth. Far away from what the speaker intended to say or explain and what the writer/journalist has portrayed to his readers or the common man.
The PTI news report further goes on to state:“two separate autopsy reports ruled out any injuries on the body before the death. Earlier, the CFSL had not found any suspicious material in the viscera of Dias.”
Even not finding any suspicious material in the viscera of Fr Dias does not rule out murder. In fact it proves that the youth were lying from day one. The youth claimed that Fr Dias had several beers and later on said that he had four beers. Even if Fr Dias had four beer pints, alcohol should have showed up in the viscera analysis report. Why is the Goan media not highlighting this part?
One more line from the PTI report:“Out of the three reports, the Crime Branch has received two and both have confirmed the police investigation that Dias died due to accidental drowning, police said, adding that they are expecting a chemical report of the vest soon.” Yes it goes steps further in proving that Dias died of accidental drowning, but it is still not completely conclusive evidence.
One has to understand that Fr Dias‘ death was masterminded by experts – people who knew how to kill and get away with it.
To that extent, this time the Herald has been more careful in its reporting of the diatom test analysis