Friday, May 2, 2008

Mining Trucks Blocked at Colamb, Sanguem

It was eventful day today in Colamb village of Sanguem Taluka in Goa. Villagers came out to demand closure of the Fomento mine by putting back the waste as well as the piled up ore into the existing pit.

In the morning at around 10 am mining trucks carrying Iron Ore were stopped on the road. Public transport however was not affected as the villagers made it a point not to disrupt the same. However as the tension built up further mining some truck drivers blocked public transport at around 2.00 pm.

People protesting organised rally carrying banners and placards of protest and marched on the road with slogan shouting. People were forced to block the trucks as they were prevented from entering Fomento mine due to Court Injunction. This case came up for hearing today in Quepem Sessions Court refused to vacate Injuction order and legal barrier against the villagers continues to be in existence.

Police made only a negligible presence in Colamb today with one jeep round at around 11.30 am even though around 400 mining trucks qued up on the road till around 5.00 pm.
In the afternoon events took a violent turn when one truck driver kicked Socorina Fernades resulting in Chest and hand injuries. She is being treated in Margao when the last reports came in. It is not yet known if she has filed the Police complaint so far.

After Socorina attack at around 3.00 pm then it was the turn of Motesh Antao at 4.30 pm to bear some more pain and offer sacrifice for his village: he was attacked and kicked on his thighs by the same truck driver that kicked Socorina. This further aggravated the which was coolly handled by the villagers. Motesh Antao was attacked by around 12 people who came in a jeep from Sanvordem to attack the villagers.

Colamb villagers however demonstrated extraordinary sense of tolerance and patience restraining from violent retaliation even after so many provocations during the day.
While all this is going on the Goa Government on the other hand is busy in it's continues support to a mega disaster called 'Mining'. One only wonders as to how long and how far it will continue to do so. Perhaps it will never cease its support till citizens rise up and throw it in the dustbin of history once and for all.

Sebastian Rodrigues with inputs from Constancio Rodrigues, Mercilina Sen, Vinaya D'Souza and Smitha Olivera

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