Portugal fan arrested in Goa for celebrating Euro 2016 win
A Portugal fan has been arrested in Goa after his method of celebrating his team’s win managed to offend the religious sentiments of a section of people in the state.
The man, identified as Lucas Carvalho, was taken into custody after allegedly trying to tie a necklace with a cross on an idol of a Hindu deity in a temple in South Goa, authorities claim. A few hours after Portugal won the final, the man was seen with his unpredicted offering at a temple in the village of Sanguem about 80kms from the capital city of Panaji. He had clearly not foreseen a backlash coming out of a community that still has traces of Portuguese culture within it.
Up until 1961, Goa was a major trade state colonised by the Portuguese before being liberated by its parent country of India. This annexation by India after 451 years of being ruled by Portugal has been the topic of a vast surge of literary works written by writers both in and out of the country.
The police inspector overseeing this case is one Uttam Raut Dessai who has been constantly trying to pacify the outrage that has followed this unexpected act. “Some of the devotees complained about a necklace with a cross being offered to the deity. Local youth Lucas Carvalho was arrested yesterday on suspicion. He has confessed to the act and told us that he did it to celebrate Portugal's victory in Euro 2016 final," he was quoted by Firstpost.
It is not clear whether Lucas intended to incite communal discord in a state that is not dominated by any one religion or culture. Malicious intent, for now, does not seem to be a plausible motive. Goa has often been seen as the melting pot of various major and minor communities even as traces from its Portuguese past still continue to be reflected in Goan daily life. For a state of that kind of diversity, getting offended at something so inconsequential is quite rare and arguably an isolated incident.
The incident was reported by the priest of the Hindu Temple Lucas had entered. Dessai also said that a major backlash and consequent violence had been avoided due to timely action by the police who immediately took the youth into custody.
"We are questioning him further,” Dessai added.
On Sunday, Portugal defeated the hosts France by a margin of one goal to win their first European Championship trophy.