Freedom fighters' family members are 'Portuguese': Radharao

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 27 November 2013 23:44 IST

Adv Radharao Gracias, an activist-cum-politician lawyer, has alleged that several Goan businessmen, mine owners and even freedom fighters’ family members have become ‘Portuguese’ citizens.

“There are not only people with surnames like Gracias, Viegas, Cardoz and Silvas etc but even people with surnames like Timblo, Sinari, Salgaoncar, Usgaoncar, Counto etc who have registered their birth in Portugal”, Gracias told goanews.com.

Though he did not wish to name anybody in particular, Gracias said these include mine owners, businessmen, hotelier and even family members belonging to freedom fighters.

"We can establish it in due course of time, if required", said Gracias. 

The issue of Portuguese citizenship has come to the fore once again after the Ministry of Home Affairs issued an order, declaring Benaulim MLA Caitu Silva as the Portuguese citizen.

In Caitu’s case, Gracias is the lawyer for John Fernandes, who had applied to the MHA regarding his citizenship and has also now petitioned to the Goa Governor to disqualify him.

Fernandes has also approached the local election office to strike out Caitu’s name from the electoral roll while writing to the Passport Office to withdrawn his Indian passport.

Following this, Gracias said he is planning to file a criminal complaint at the Colva police station, stating that Caitu has been staying illegally in Goa, without having valid documents.

“His case is similar to Nigerians, Israelis or Russians, who are overstaying in Goa without valid documents”, said Gracias.

The complaint, which may be filed within a week, would thus list out all the issues, which a ‘foreign’ citizen cannot possess but Caitu is enjoying, including the positron as the MLA, he said. 

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