Cavrem villagers allege nexus between illegal mining interests and Goa govt

HomeForumsVillage specific Panchayat RajCAVREM-PIRLACavrem villagers allege nexus between illegal mining interests and Goa govt

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April 8, 2016 at 7:37 pm #6314

Cavrem villagers have alleged they are being targeted by the government for opposing irreversible destruction of environment caused due to illegal mining.

Pledging to continue the fight, agitating villagers also demanded action against those who allegedly assaulted Ravindra Velip, while he was in judicial custody at sub-Sada jail, Vasco, a week ago.

Velip alleged he was assaulted while in jail on Wednesday last, after he was arrested along with others for staging a protest against illegal mining.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Velip referring to Wednesday’s incident at his village, accused the government of misusing machinery to muzzle people’s voice against illegal mining.

He said they would not keep quiet and move the Supreme Court if the government does not stop its alleged atrocities. During his absence for a few days, the government mobilized forces for illegal transportation of ore on Wednesday, he alleged.

“When mining trucks, machinery and police invaded our village unannounced yesterday morning. People raised questions whether relevant rules and regulations are adherred to,” he said, adding they wanted the mining company or government to answer their queries. Instead, police immediately placed 37 villagers under arrest, and some were manhandled. All were later detained at Quepem police station. Their lawyer, Suhas Velip and leader Nilesh Gaonkar were followed by the police while returning from the police station. They were assaulted by cops when they asked them why they were followed, he alleged. “Police falsely charged them with obstruction of justice,” he said.

Cavrem villagers strongly condemned the alleged nexus between illegal mining interests and the government which is suppressing the growth and development of our tribal community, he said.

Warning that they would seek intervention of the highest court in the country against alleged government methods to suppress them to protect interest of mines, he said accusing fingers will be pointed towards government itself, if mining is stopped in the state.

Source/Reference: Times of India, “We are targeted for opposing eco-destruction, say Caurem villagers

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April 8, 2016 at 7:44 pm #6315

Cavrem residents allege harassment by authorities

Cavrem residents have alleged that government authorities were harassing them despite them initiating steps to stop illegal transportation of ore. At a press conference, anti-illegal mining activist Ravindra Velip, who was beaten up in judicial custody, stated that the government was deliberately troubling the residents to allow the illegal activity.

“The government should acknowledge that we are making an attempt to stop illegality in the mining business but the locals are in turn subjected to torture,” Velip, supported by a large group of locals, said.
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party lodged a protest with the DGP on the continued intimidation and violent suppression of the protests by Cavrem villagers.
A large number of AAP volunteers gathered outside the Police Headquarters and raised slogans against the ‘fascist and authoritarian behaviour’ of the BJP-led government alleging it was using “State machinery to violently suppress the tribal villagers and allowing mining companies to get away with daylight robbery of iron ore.”

The party asked the government to immediately stop its intimidation and violent suppression of the people and stop illegal transportation of ore.
In its petition to the DGP, the delegation demanded that accountability be fixed in the Velip assault case by suspending Jail Superintendent Sabaji Shetye and Deputy Superintendent Bhanudas Pednekar, and registering an FIR which is pending for over a fortnight.

Source/Reference: Herald, “Cavrem residents allege harassment by authorities

April 9, 2016 at 1:51 pm #6327

Use of repression by BJP Goa Govt will spell doom for mining: CSJP

The use of repression to cover up the gross illegalities and irregularities in mining activity can only spell doom for the future of the mining industry in the state, members of the the council for social justice and peace (CSJP) said.

Condemning acts of violation of human rights that villagers, specially tribals, have had to endure, the CSJP has appealed to the government “to refrain from tactics of repression and adopt the path of dialogue with all stakeholders, particularly those impacted by the mining activity, to find a common accepted ground,” as per the press release issued by them.

It further said that it was such “terror” employed earlier by the mining cartel, with the tacit support of the state, that compelled civil society groups to approach the court in a bid to protect the right to life, thereafter leading to a ban being imposed on mining.

“It appears that no lessons have been learnt by the government and the mining companies following the mining ban and its consequent economic and social fall-outs. The removal of the ban on mining by the apex court should, in no way, be assumed to be a licence for the government and mining companies to indulge in violation of human rights,” the council said, adding that it stands with citizens whose lives are threatened by unregulated transportation of ore in Cavrem and surrounding villages.

Source/Reference: Times of India, “Use of repression will spell doom for mining: CSJP

April 9, 2016 at 2:03 pm #6328

CSJP calls for dialogue to solve Cavrem issue

It also reminded the government that protest against illegal mining in 2011 in Cavrem had ultimately resulted in a ban on total mining.

“It appears that no lessons have been learnt by the government and the mining companies after the mining ban and its consequent fall-outs,” stated Fr Savio Fernandes, executive secretary of CSJP.

He also stated that the lifting of the mining ban by the Supreme Court should in no way be assumed to be a license for the government and mining companies to indulge in violation of human rights and illegal mining.

Rather than following repressive tactics, CSJP has urged the government to adopt the path of dialogue with all the stakeholders by respecting the life and dignity of every citizen living in the mining belt.

The use of State repression to cover up gross illegalities and irregularities in the mining activity could only spell doom to the future of mining industry in Goa, cautioned Fr Fernandes.

Source/Reference: Herald, “CSJP calls for dialogue to solve Cavrem issue

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