Will it ever come? What should one do to keep up the pressure and not let the government get away with shielding his murderers from justice?
A sense of complacency seems to have set in, along the lines of “These things happen”, “What can you do?”, etc.
But the fact remains that a man, a gentle, kind but outspoken, forthright, honest “straight-as-an-arrow” man that so many of us knew and loved, has been brutally tortured and murdered, in his backyard, in our backyard, and nothing is being done about this outrage. There is a long list of suspects, of people who had plenty of motive in “getting rid” of this persistent “thorn” in their side. But the police do not seem to have even begun investigating this lengthy list.
One does not need to be a forensic expert to know that when there has been an unnatural death, especially when the victim is someone who of his own accord had reported death threats to the police literally hours before, one has to examine ALL possible angles and probabilities and include everyone (including those who allegedly spent the last hours with Fr. Bismarque and whose testimony is being given so much weight; maybe especially so) as suspects and accomplices to murder, until it can be proved beyond a shred of reasonable doubt that they are innocent. All those whom Fr. Bismarque had opposed over the years, and who therefore would have something to gain from his ‘disappearance’, should be prime suspects. This is sheer common sense, obvious to a child. If the investigation had gone sincerely and efficiently and speedily along these lines, we would have known who did it, the killers would have been sentenced, and Fr. Bismarque Dias would have had the Christian burial that he deserves and that his family would like to give him. But there has been no closure of this kind, and instead there is a raw gaping wound on the collective psyche of the people of Goa.
We have to shake off any creeping sense of resignation and helplessness, and continue to speak up and keep this unresolved issue alive and in public discourse.
We are being taught a lesson. We are being taught that if the ordinary people of Goa dare to expose the wrongdoings of the rich and powerful, if we have the temerity, the nerve, the audacity to try to defend our beloved Goa for ourselves and our children and our children’s children, (something that we are well within our rights as citizens of a democracy to do, a basic human right), then we can be “disappeared”, we can be summarily executed in a Bombay ‘gangland-style’ torture-killing and dumped in a river, in the same way that garbage is just chucked into our water bodies. We are being told we are nothing but garbage, and being treated as such. Ordinary citizens do not matter, only corporations and institutions and “important people” in governments and political parties, money and muscle power do.
This is the unspoken message behind the killing of Fr. Bismarque Dias. It is a chilling, sinister message, a warning, a threat, an ‘example’: This is what we do to those who dare to rise against us. Aiz Bismarque-ak, Faleam tuka.
What are we to do? Are we to meekly have this lesson taught to us? Or should we teach them a lesson of our own, that we will not be cowed or bullied or threatened or harassed?
So many questions. Where are the answers?