Saturday, February 9, 2008

Villagers in Colomba stage road blockade

Seen in the photo P.I. of Quepem Police station Shri Naresh Mamel convincing the villagers.

John Fernandes from Quepem on February 08 2008 with text and picture

Group of villagers from Colomba, Rivona, Dhadolem, Muscavrem, and Kevona blocked the entire Rivona Colomba road for over 3 hours today over the issue of alleged assault by the ASI P.V. Dessai attached to Quepem police station on one of the villagers at Colomba today.

That the villagers of Colomba and other adjoining areas are agitating over the functioning of Hiralal and Khodidas mine at Colomba , who claims that due to the functioning of the mine their very life is in danger. "The villagers in the last week of January even forcefully closed down which prompted the mine owner to keep the mine close for two days but the mine was again started", claims the villagers.

Though the said mine was in operation internally no transportation of ore outside the mine was done. The tuck which were going to operate inside the mine were going through a road made illegally made by the mining company through reserve Forest . The illegal making of road by the mining company through the reserve forest triggered the villagers as no action taken by the Forest department inspite of Complaint, stated the villagers further.

That from 6th of February through its contractor the mining company started transporting the ore from the mine through reserve forest via Curpe as there is no other way out. That yesterday some of the villagers got together and warned all the truck transporting ore from that mine. That through the reserve forest the road passes through private property of one one Prabhudessai passes before reaching the mine , which property has a gate on both side of boundary. As the villagers were planning to stopped the transport from the said mine yesterday evening with the help of Prabhudessai Supervisor locked the gate one both side. They also warned the truck from operating from the mine.

As the villagers warned the truck operator no truck entered in the mine and nor transportation work was started in todays morning session. Stated the villagers further .

However today at around 1.30 PM the transport contractor with police protection with some truck went to the site, the police took the key of the gate from the supervisor of PrabhuDessai and opened the same , loaded the truck . The loaded trucks were followed by the the Quepem police jeep. As the villagers were keeping a close watch on the movement of the truck from that mine , When the loaded truck from the said mine reached at Colomba one of the village youth showed his hand to the truck and stopped it .

The police jeep which was following the truck one of the police by name ASI P.V.Dessai got down from the jeep caught hold the colour of the youth shirt pulled him and then assaulted him with shoes one his private part and then pulled him into the police jeep. The incident was noticed by other villager who were planning their strategies , they then rushed to the site and stooped the police Jeep. That within no time around 400 villagers gathered at the site.

The villagers blocked the entire rout rivona Colomba road and paralised the entire traffic for almost 3 hours.

The incident forced Quepem P.I. Naresh Mamel to rush to the incident site who after a long discussion managed to convinced the agitating villager and assured them such incident of alleged assault will not repeat in future. At around 6.30pm the villagers disbursed and allowed the traffic to go. Now the villagers are determine not to allow the operation of Hiralal and Khodidas mine operating in Colomba village.

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