Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Police terror in Colamb, Sanguem

According to just received information from Colamb, Sanguem, Goa, today on November 20 2007 Goa Police attached to Quepem Police station have began terrorising the villagers. A group of 8 Policemen came in plain clothes at 6 pm and began threatening the villagers. They were searching Agnelo D'Souza, one of the villagers in forefront of protest against mining threatening to gobble up Colamb village. He had protested overvhelmingly during Novemeber 18 2007 gram Sabha of the Rivona village panchayat and sought resulation seeking to ban further mining activity in Colamb. Villagers led by Milagrine Antao led the confrontation today against the police.

Police are behaving in this manner to further the interest of the mining companies. This is a latest offensive against the Adivasi community of Goa by State Police forces to protect the interests of the private mining companies.

Here is a report filed by John Fernanandes on the proceedings of the Gram Sabha of November 18 2007:

The opposition to mining activity in Colomba and Rivona Village of Sanguem/Quepem is going on stronger and stronger as in the regular gram sabha held today the villagers unanimously passed a resolution opposing any mine on the hillock Bargally under survey No.165,64 and 63 of colomba village, new mine in any part of Rivona village or reviving the work in those mines which are already abandon.

At the time of passing the resolution there was an exchange of words from the group supporting the mining activity and those opposing the mining activity. As the group supporting the mining activity seems to be in minority. Anticipating that the resolution opposing new mining activity will be passed, the group supporting mining activity went out of the hall, that to no before exchanging word and abusing each other which continued outside the hall.
Meantime somebody informed the Quepem police, police immediately rushed to the site. If police would have not reached both group would have clashed with each other.

It may be recalled there was a move to start a new mine on the hillock Bargalle situated at Colomba in which a Cabinet minister from the Digamber Kamat government is also involved. That on the said hillock where the new mine is proposed there is a Chapel dedicated to St. Francis Xavier, a crematorium and a cemetery, surrounding of which there are residential houses and paddy fields . At a distance of around 300 mts there is also a Government high school and a primary school. Recently the villagers held a meeting opposing the mining activity on the Bargally Hillock.

Later addressing the gram sabha the Sarpanch Smt. Mansi Naik assured the villagers that she is with the villagers in opposing the mining activity in the village.

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