Tuesday 23 October 2018

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Economy | Mining

Mining: Tribals-police clash in Caurem, women arrested, allege assault

 

Caurem turned into a battleground once again today with protesting villagers and police clashing with each other and tribal women becoming the victims of police ruthlessness.

Total 38 villagers, including 30 women, were arrested on serious non-bailable offences for stopping truck transport of e-auctioned ore.

Later in the afternoon, at the Quepem police station, police also arrested Nilesh Gaonkar, the local tribal youth leader when he had gone with the villagers to help their arrested colleagues.

Protesting villagers came on the roads to stop the truck transport from a mine leased out to Fomento, which started today morning.

Quepem PI Pravin Gawas alleged that the villagers beat up some of the policemen while discharging their duty of clearing the road.

Nilesh Gaonkar, the local tribal leader, on the other hand alleged that police beat up the villagers while they were peacefully blocking the truck transport.

“We will formally arrest them by charging them for non-bailable offences including assaulting public servants on duty”, PI Gawas told goanews.com.

While police have now arrested 38 protestors, the rest of the villagers have marched to the Quepem police station.

Nilesh, in a sms sent to goanews, alleged that he was assaulted by a PSI at the Quepem police station and was then arrested.

The truck transport in the meanwhile has resumed with over 100 trucks leaving the mine with e-auctioned ore by noon.

According to information gathered, police had gone to Caurem village to help smooth truck transport, which the villagers as expected stopped.

While the police cleared the road by pushing aside the peacefully protesting villagers, more villagers came out and stood on the road while trucks were leaving.

This led to a physical clash when police started push aside the large number of protestors.

Fomento today resumed the truck transport, which was stopped a fortnight ago after arresting the villagers for stopping the transport on 21st and 22nd March.

This had also led to yet another mysterious incident of local Caurem panch getting blind folded and assaulted in Sada sub-jail while being in the judicial lock-up on 23rd March.

A magisterial inquiry is being conducted in this regard while Sanguem MLA Subhash Phaldesai, who lives in Caurem, denying his hand in the jail assault.

   

In a similar manner, in 2011, Nilesh Gaonkar was beaten up when he had exposed the illegal mining, which ultimately was proved by Shah Commission resulting into closure of all the mines of Goa for two years.

In fact the ore which is being e-auctioned is the illegal stocks confiscated by the government, declaring it illegal as per Supreme Court orders.

While mining in Goa is now resumed, the tribal villagers are demanding that all the mining-related allied activities in Caurem, including transport, be operated through a co-operative society the villagers have formed.  

But the Registrar of Co-operative Societies is refusing to register the society while objecting to the word ‘mining’ in the draft.

The tribal youth had taken initiative in forming the co-operative society as suggested by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was then Goa’s chief minister.

The same BJP government however is now refusing to recognise the co-operative society while also denying any participation of the locals in the mining activity going on in their own village.

Villagers allege that the e-auctioned ore is actually more in quantity than what is sold, due to which the authorities as well as the miners are not involving the locals to transport the ore.






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