Thursday, November 13, 2008

Goa Government as Joker in the circus of mining companies

Goa Federation of Mines Affected People (GOAMAP) strongly condemns Goa Police connivance with Fomento mining Company. This connivance was once again exposed - after Maina episode of beating up villagers in presence of Police by mining goondas, on October 11 2008 - with Police Arrest of Colamb villagers along with number of other People on Solidarity trip to Colamb yesterday 12th November 2008. Around 86 people were arrested for allegedly trespassing into the mining lease 06/1949 belonging to Hiralal Khodidas when they forced the mining company to stop work.

One lady constable bearing badge number 6769 assaulted Colamb woman Dument D’Souza just before the arrests in the afternoon in presence of mamlatdar. Mining security staff along with the truck drivers assaulted three people while police were affecting arrest.

Villagers are demanding that this mining lease be closed down due to negative effect on their water bodies, forest and agriculture - being the mainstay of village economy. The agitation to close down mining in the village has been on for the past one and half year. If logic of trespass into mining lease is accepted then entering 85% of Colamb becomes a criminal offence as it is covered with 23 mining leases. And entering into 1/4th Goa’s geographical area that is covered with over 1300 mining leases becomes criminal activity. Every movement of people in these localities including dwelling and agriculture is criminal tress. This is simply ridiculous!

It is truly shameful that government of Goa have chosen to align government machinery to be abused for private purpose thereby reducing Goa Government as mere joker in a circus of mining companies.

GOAMAP demands immediate cancellation to Hiralal Khodidas mining leases number 06/1949 that does not belong to Fomentos. GOAMAP also urges Goa Police not to dance to the tune of mining companies such as Fomentos and go about harassing people that are contributing to their salaries as public servants.


Sebastian Rodrigues

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