Saturday, January 10, 2009

Anti-mining activists accuse companies of harrasment

Anti-mining activists from different places in the State today alleged that mining Companies were harassing those opposing mining by using the judiciary to their advantage.

In a press conference called today in the city, President of the Gavda Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar Federation (GAKUVED), Durgadas Gaonkar said their activists were being demoralised by filing of false cases against them.

Adv. John Fernandes, a firm mining opponent from Quepem, maintained he had been framed by the police by registering a false attempt to murder case against him for supporting people protesting against dust pollution in the village.

Activists showed media persons broken police lathis that were used to allegedly beat people opposing mining activities at ambaulim, Quepem on December 17, 2008.

Sebaastian Rodrigues, another very strong opponent of mining and a consultant to GAKUVED, said that Fomento company had filed a Rs. 500 crore defamation against him for publishing articles against it on He maintained that here was nothing defamatory in whatever was written against the company.

Social activist and award-winning teacher from Bicholim Ramesh Gauns said harassment to activists was done basically to suppress voices of opposition against mining.

Shyamsunder Naik, who has been opposing mining in Advalpal-Bicholim said that a large group of people in the village continued to oppose mining in spite of gram sabha resolutions.

Another activist Rama Velip of Colomba said a new set of cases had been filed against him and five others.

GAKUVED has now called a public meeting to express their solidarity and support to the people resisting invasion of the mining industry at the Dr.T.B.Cunha Memorial Hall in the capital city on January 12 at 4 pm.

Herald, January 10, 2009, Panjim

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