On the 8th of November 2018, FC Goa played against Delhi Dynamos winning the match with a 3-2 victory in the Indian Super League. There was a shower of fireworks and cheers from the crowds and among them was Lester D’Souza and family. Like many others, Lester D’Souza and his family were hardcore FC Goan fans and screamed and cheered with joy when the team won the match on home ground but it wasn’t long before this happy memory turned into a sour one.
After the match was over, Lester D’Souza, along with his family were clicking pictures at the fence of the football ground. The cops and ISL security approached and demanded they stop and get out. This gave a rise to arguments. This incident created a great hype on the social networking sites with the video gone viral.
A First Information Report (FIR) under sections 506 (criminal intimidation) 353 (deterring public servants from discharging duty) and 504 ( breach of peace) have been filed against Lester and his parents- Sebastian D’Souza and Tina D’Souza. The police alleged said that Lester first started assaulting the police personnel on duty, from which the action was taken. There were even report doing the rounds that the family was allegedly drunk. After the whole fracas was over, they were arrested and later released on conditional bail.
In a video later released by Lester’s mother Mrs Tina D’Souza, she has claimed that the ISL officials came through as harsh, abusive and aggressive individuals. As earlier mentioned, Mrs D’Souza and her family were clicking pictures in front of the fence in the east side of the football ground when the ISL officials started driving them off and started being abusive. The family was allegedly pushed and abused and Mrs D’Souza was even punched by an official namely Raunak Kadam. In a fit of anger watching his mother being pushed and punched, Lester came forward and started questioning the officials and pushed them back.
Soon the boy was brutally beaten and trashed by the officials and the police. He was pulled and dragged onto the field and publicly humiliated and beaten up and later taken to the Police Control Room by the police. Mrs D’Souza claims her son was brutally beaten by at least 15 police and ISL officials, while they were restrained taken to the Fatorda Police Station. They were arrested on the pretext of taking them to the hospital to see their son who was beaten up and later admitted to the hospital. It was only after 12 that Mrs D’Souza and her husband Sebastian was released and taken to meet their son.
To his parent’s dismay, Lester was found in an unconscious state with a blood bleeding from his mouth. There was no first aid provided to him and none of the Superintendent of Police or the DGI came forward to help the family claims Mrs D’souza.
According to Mrs D’Souza her Son, Mr Lester was given a statement sheet to sign on, in an unconscious state which to which he has no recollection of. He was released soon after. On the 11th of November Lester D’Souza was readmitted at Kolwalkar’s Galaxy Hospital, Mapusa.
The Youth Congress President Varad Mardolka in an interview said that “The organiser should give compensation to Lester D’Souza and his family as well as financial compensation for the mental and physical torture they had to undergo.”
Many came out and raised their voice. Messages were also circulated to boycott the next home match and also demanding explanations. FC Goa has issued a watery apology promising an inquiry. But ISL has not reacted to the high-handed behaviour of the police and security at their event. But many questions still remain.
CLUB STATEMENT. pic.twitter.com/io5WoCEpFj
— FC Goa (@FCGoaOfficial) November 9, 2018
There are also messages doing the round of the people attending the match to wear a black shirt in order to show support towards Lester and the D’Souza family.
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