Thursday, December 10, 2009

Goa Police as the State Agency of Repression in Goa’s mining belt: 2007-2009

By Sebastian Rodrigues


Of late there has been intense resistance to open cast iron ore, bauxite and manganese mines in Goa. Often branded as ‘backbone of Goa’s economy’ mining industry has been at the receiving end of public criticism for transforming itself as ‘rogue industry’ causing enormous harm to the ecology, agriculture, water sources, as well as traffic congestion, air pollution, sound pollution, and large scale sicknesses caused due to air pollution, water pollution and entry of migrant labour.

While the village groups in different parts of the State of Goa have expressed problems caused due to the mining industry in legitimate manners; within the ambit of the Constitution of India, State-Corporate nexus have responded to these concerns with repression. Goa Police has been its most preferred agency of repression over the past few years. This papers documents and analyzes the behavior of Goa Police in Goa’s mining belt from 2007 to 2009 – the period that has witnessed heightened resistance.

Amongst the methods of intimidation followed by Goa Police includes visits by secret police known as CID (Criminal Investigation Department) to the houses of villagers, calling up at odd hours in the night, verbal threats, physical violence while in custody, non-interference while protestors are attacked by mining truck owners, humiliation tactics by putting slate around the neck and photographing, filing of false cases, filing of charge sheets further the proceedings in judicial courts, threatening to ban entry into the mining villages by imposing Tadi Par, confiscating the buses used for traveling for protest marches, confiscating and tearing down of posters with slogans against mining companies, monitoring movements of villagers protesting mining industry, tapping of telephones of people opposed to mining industry, indulging in physical violence in the form of Lathi Charge against the villagers protesting mining industry, filing of criminal cases against the lawyers defending villagers opposing mining industry, refusing or ignoring complaints filed by villagers against officials of mining companies, and investigating the opponents of mining industry as ‘Naxalites’.

The paper problemitizes the role of state funded Police force and questions the partial and partisan role played Goa Police that is unbecoming of public servants and suggests ways to change behavior pattern of Goa Police as protector of ‘public’ interest and not the interest of the mining companies.

I. Introduction

Open cast mining industry dealing with Iron Ore, Manganese and Bauxite has its prevalence in Goa since 1948 when 100 tonnes of Iron Ore was exported to Japan for the first time, from the times under Portuguese Colonial rule. The industry is basically dig and sell economy located in around 68,000 hectares of land fragmented into 791 mining leases granted during Portuguese colonial regime. Open cast mining of this major industry is principally for export purpose to various countries of the World with Japan being the prominent destination since 1948. In fact Goa’s Ore played major role in resurgence of Japan after being reduced to ashes during the World War II that culminated in dropping of Atom bombs by Americans on Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. However China overtook Japan as a leading destination of Goa’s mineral exports during past few years. In fact during 2008-2009 Goan exports of ore to China constituted 86% (32,763,721 tonnes) while next to follow is Japan with 9% (3,557,775 tonnes). Europe (Italy, Netherlands and Rumania) got 2% of Goa’s iron ore exports (680,513 tonnes), South Korea got 1% of Exports (545,228 tonnes), Pakistan got 1% of exports (258,029 tonnes), and Middle East (Qatar, Kuwait, Dubai and Saudi Arabia) got 1% (231,457 tonnes). African nation Kenya got fraction of it too - 38,500 tonnes.

According to the selected statistics (Amended upto March 31, 2009) on Goan Mineral Ore Exports Compiled by Goa Mineral Ore Exporters’ Association Goa’s exports particularly of Iron Ore has been increasing at rapid pace. During 2005-2006 it was 25,537,924 tonnes, In 2006-2007 it rose to 30,893,953 tonnes. In 2007-2008 it increased to 33,434,429 tonnes. In 2008-2009 exports jumped to 38,075,223 tonnes out of which 32,629,521 tonnes is to China alone.

Mining companies involved in Goan Iron Ore exports during 2008-2009 includes miners, transporters and real estate companies. The list is as follows: Sesa Goa Limited, V.S. Dempo & Company Pvt. Ltd., Sociedade de Fomento Indl. P. Ltd., Prime Mineral Exports Pvt. Ltd., Fomento (Karnataka) Mining Co. P. Ltd., V.M. Salgaoncar & Bro. Pvt. Ltd., V.M. Salgaoncar Sales International, Chowgule & Company Pvt. Limited, Chowgule & Co. (Salt) Pvt. Ltd., Chowgule & Co. Pvt. Ltd. (Mandovi Pellets), Salgaoncar Mining Industries P. Ltd., Timblo Private Limited, Timblo Enterprises, Damodar Mangalji & Co. Ltd., Bandekar Brothers, V.G. Mehta Exports, Vassaantram Mehta & Co. Pvt. Ltd., Venture Resource Holdings., Venture Real Estate, PEC Limited, Karishma Exports, Karishma Goa Mineral Trading, Rajaram Bandekar (s) Mines P. Ltd., Rajaram N.S. Bandekar & Co. P. Ltd., Narayan Bandekar & Sons Pvt. Ltd., On & Offshore Hitech Engineers P. Ltd., Trimuthi Exports, D.B. Bandodkar & Sons Pvt. Ltd., Shree Bhavani Minerals, Minescape Minerals Pvt. Ltd., Prasanna V. Ghotge, Star PVG Exports, Sri Krishna Enterprises, Gangadhar Narsingdas Agrawal, Fulchand Exports, Baggadia Brothers, Shree Mallikarjun Shipping, Alphine International, MSPL Limited, Ramakanta V. S. Velingkar, Ramakanta Velingkar Minerals, Magnum Minerals Pvt. Ltd., Rika Global Impex Ltd., Muktar Pvt. Ltd., Canara Overseas Limited, Shantadurga Transport Co. P. Ltd., and Adani Enterprises Limited. All these companies has exported Goan Iron Ore to China without any exception. These are the beneficiaries of the Goa’s dig and sell economy to which this trade is the backbone of their economies fetching unimaginable financial rewards without being in any affecting with global depression.

Sesa Goa limited – owned by British corporate Vedanta that is listed on London stock exchange and funded by large number of banks and shareholders world over - has topped the list of exporters with total of 10,345,020 tonnes of export of Iron Ore. Out this 8,977,723 tonnes exported to China, 631,186 tonnes exported to Japan, 212,378 tonnes to South Korea, 265,704 to Europe, and 258,029 tonnes to Pakistan. The company – V.S. Dempo & Company Pvt. Ltd – that Vedanta purchased in June 2009 with all its mining interests in Goa exported total of 4,347,543 tonnes of iron ore to China (3,882,550 tonnes) and Japan (464,993 tonnes). Vedanta’s target of exports for 2009-2010 is whopping 50,000,000 tonnes from its mines in Goa alone. This is larger than last year’s (2008-2009) combined total of all the mining companies export from Goa of 38,075,223 tonnes of iron ore. For Vedanta Goa is a Sunshine State! With this known target of one mining company alone destruction of Goa’s ecology and People’s livelihood is guaranteed.

Audoot Timblo who filed defamation suit of Rs.500 crore against the author of this paper – Sebastian Rodrigues - at Calcutta High Court in December 2008 citing that his writings at GAKUVED blog has caused loss of business and existence of Fomento group is in danger if his writings continues has three mining companies in his kitty. The first one is Sociedade de Fomento Indl P. ltd that exported 2,348,970 tonnes to China (3,882,550 tonnes), Japan (453,005 tonnes) and Europe (339,330 tonnes). The second one is Prime Mineral Exports Pvt. Ltd. That exported 1,644,432 tonnes of Iron Ore to China. The third one is Fomento (Karnataka) Mining Co. P. Ltd that sent 119,964 of Goan ore to China. This way there are 50 agencies that are engaged in export of Goa’s Iron Ore. Their names are already cited above.

In order to sustain this exports tirade Goa’s hinterlands has been at the brutal receiving ends. Its Forest and agriculture in large number of villages where open cast mining activity is undertaken has been a huge casualty thereby causing crisis of food security for humans and animals alike. Goa’s ground water flow has been drastically changed due to deep mining pits in number of locations thereby leaving village wells, natural lakes, springs, ponds and rivulets dry. Water dependency has developed in the Goa’s mining belt. Number of people has become victims of dangerous Public Health Crisis in the Goa’s mining belt that is yet to be thoroughly investigated. Large number of people of Pissurlem and Keri – in Sattari are suffering from number lung diseases including tuberculosis. While People in and around Rivona in Sanguem suffer from Chicken Gunia almost in epidemic form few months ago in September – October 2009.

Number of voices has cropped up recently highlighting that all is not well with open cast mining industry in Goa and in fact it is rapidly destroying not only the backbone of the local people’s economy i.e. agriculture, but also causing irreversible ecological changes with long term unforeseen consequences. Due to inherent rush of the China boom and lure of foreign currency mining companies are in competition with each other to transform Goa into a desert – all of them working at breath neck speed. This is duly facilitated by mechanized nature of the mining industry with latest sophisticated machinery waging a war against nature and humanity in Goa. Communities has been lured into alcoholism and cleverly fragmented into factions causing frequent strife so that the will of the mining industry prevails.

In spite of all this however there are some village people in Goa including its tribal people has demonstrated stiff and organized resistance to this marauding open cast mining industry. At State level Gawda, Kunbi, Velip and Dangar Federation (GAKUVED) has lend its voice to the struggle against Goa’s mining plunder since 2007. Number of other organizations such as Nature Environment Society and Transformations (NEST), Goa Foundation, Ganv Ghor Rakhon Manch (GGRM) and Goa Bachao Abhiyan (GBA) has also collaborated with village people resisting mining in various villages of Goa in various ways and varying intensities. Goa Federation of Mines Affected People has evolved as a network of mining affected people in Goa since August 2008.

II. Documenting Police Repression

The response of the State to these protests has been to deploy State police – Goa Police – to carry on series of repressive measures against those people involved in the active resistance against the mining industry. Number of people arrested and criminally charged. Police force is deployed to protect the mining industry and to demoralize the resisting people in various manner. Below is a list of Police interventions and strategic non-interventions to achieve this objective. The below documentation is based on regular spot recorded entries at – blog of Mand – An Adivasi-rights Resource Centre, an Initiative of Gawda, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar Federation (GAKUVED) - after being reported by the villagers and sometimes newspapers.

  1. November 20, 2007
    Colomba, Sanguem

    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 overwhelmingly during November 18 2007 gram Sabha of the Rivona village panchayat and sought resolution seeking to ban further mining activity in Colamb.
  2. January 21, 2008
    Colomba, Sanguem
    Police Inspector Mhamel of Quepem Police station over the phone threatened Rama Velip that if the villagers continue to march on the Fomento mines then he will arrest all the villagers.
  3. January 23, 2008
    Colomba, Sanguem
    Goa Police protection provided to Fomento mine in Colomba, Sanguem.
  4. February 08, 2008
    Colomba, Sanguem
    ASI P.V. Desai attached to Quepem police station kicked one of the Colomba villagers – Agnelo Dias. 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 top portion of shirt of the youth shirt pulled him and then assaulted him with shoes one his private parts and then pulled him into the police jeep.
  5. February 09, 2008
    Colomba, Sanguem
    40 Police personnel deputed to protect Fomento mine in Colamb.
  6. February 11, 2008
    Colomba, Sanguem
    Police Protection to Fomento Mine
  7. March 11, 2008
    Colomba, Sanguem
    Police protection to Fomento Mine.
  8. March 25, 2008
    Colomba, Sanguem
    24 villagers including women arrested while blocking transportation of Iron Ore from Fomento Mine. Police beat up villagers and snatched earrings of one woman. 16 male constables and 6 lady constables engaged to arrest 16 Women and 5 men. Women were picked up by male constables – manhandled with some women complaining missing of their gold ornaments on their bodies during the scuffle with the police on the mining site.
  9. April 12, 2008
    Margao, Salcete
    South Goa Collector Gokuldas Naik threatened Colomba villagers of deploying police force to protect Fomentos to transport Ore from the company’s Colomba mine. Collector issued this warning when a group of Colomba villagers called on him at his Margao office.
  10. April 22, 2008
    Quepem Police Station, Quepem
    Fomento Manager Atul Makode Manager of Hiralal and Khodidas mine Colomba has on 22/4/2008 filed a false and distorted complaint before the Quepem police against 18 villagers of Colomba villagers. The complaint has been filed under section 143(punishment for forming an unlawful assembly) , 147( punishment for rioting) , 447(Punishment for criminal trespass) , 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint) , 506(2) (punishment for criminal intimidation) , 425 (Mischief ) , 427( Mischief) , read with section 149 (Liable for prosecution of common object). All the sections applied are of Indian Penal Code, 1860 – another colonial law, this time by British applied upheld the mining trade in Goa started during Portuguese colonial rule. There can be no greater evidence that Goa is de facto living in Colonial regime of State in India. The villagers have revolted not just against mining by against Colonial system in operation benefiting few elites in Goa, India and abroad. The 18 villagers against whom the complaint has been filed includes 1.Premdas Velip, 2.Alcina Dias, 3. Agnelo D’Souza, 4. Caetan Barreto, 5. Egyps D’Souza, 6. Tilu Dias, 7. Vincent Dias, 8. Palmira Dias, 9. Dumena D’Souza,10. Bhagrati Velip, 11. Shanta Velip, 12. Kalawati Velip, 13. Chandrakant Gaonkar, 14. Vithabai Velip, 15. Concy Antao, 16. Kalidas Naik, 17. Surya Gaonkar, 18.Gavnekar
  11. May 21, 2008
    Nuem, Khola, Canacona
    Dempo Mine: contractor Gangesh Molu Dessai, landed at the site with around 40 police personal from Cuncolim, Margao, Maina Curtorim and Colva. IRB who were headed by Cuncolim P.I. Sidhant Shirodkar and Colva P.I. Edwin Colaco. The Canacona Execuitive Magistrate Shri Valvoikar made his presence over there. The police started clearing the obstruction which was there on the way leading to the mine. The police were stationed at the site till 4.00 pm face to face with protesting people.
  12. May 19, 2008
    Advalpal, Bicholim
    Criminal cases registered against 70 villagers at the behest of Fomento mining company. Fomento mining company had filed police cases against following 12 Advalpal villagers Shyamsunder Naik, Sharmila Naik, Kishore Naik, Kashinath Gad, Vijay Pundloskar, Ganesh Naik, Babi Gaonkar, Suresh Gad, Shrikant Gaonkar, Manguesh Gad, Amar Shetye and Pradip Gaonkar. The cases were registered under following sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC): 143, 144, 147, 148, 323, 427, 341, 506 and 149.
    Out of these 4 people were arrested namely, Shyamsunder Naik, Sharmila Naik, Kishore Naik and Kashinath Gad. Fomentos are operating Litho Ferro mining lease in Advalpal
  13. May 20, 2008
    Advalpal, Bicholim
    Police Protection provided to Fomento mine.
  14. May 21, 2008
    Advalpal, Bicholim
    Sheetal Thanekar, Surekha Santosh Gaonkar and 17 year old Sandesh Vithal Gaonkar was beaten by Sesa Goa goons at around 3.00 pm. Police case registered. Police are yet to make any arrests so far.
  15. June 04, 2008
    Porvorim, Bardez
    Advalpal villagers stopped on their way to Panjim to celebrate World Environment Day and demonstration in front of Sesa Ghor. Their bus taken away to Panjim Police station from Porvorim under the pretext that Police had a secret information that the protestors are going to block the Mandovi bridge and paralyze the traffic! Police force in riot gears were deployed to guard the protestors after they got off the bus in Porvorim. This police followed the protestors to Panjim when they got back their bus and staged demonstration in from of Sesa Ghor – the headquarters of Sesa Goa mining company owned by British Corporate - Vedanta.
  16. June 05, 2008
    Colomba, Sanguem
    Heavy police security in police arrangement as villagers celebrated World Environment Day
  17. June 19, 2008

Goa Legislative Assembly, Porvorim

Leader of the opposition Manohar Parrikar at ad-hoc committee named the author of this paper – Sebastian Rodrigues – as naxalite operating with his team from Jharkhand in Colomba, Quepem. Top officer of Goa Police present at the meeting agreed with Mr. Parrikar’s assertion. Goa Police however came out with official statement denying presence of Naxalites in the State of Goa.

  1. June 24, 2008

Quepem Police Sation, Quepem

Quepem Police Inspector Santosh S. Dessai took a written statement from Colomba’s Rama Velip on naxalite issue. Extracts: “…I say that I know one Sebastiao Rodrigues r/o Siolim Mapusa since last 05 years from the year 2003. The said Sebastiao Rodrigues use to visit our home at Colomba alongwith br. Philip of Don Bosco, Sulcorna and Venkatesh Prabhudessai of Colomba – Kevona. The said Sebastiao use to move along with brother Philip Neri D’Souza.

I say that whenever there was a meeting in our village regarding mining issue and other environmental or land issue he use to visit our village. Most of the time said Venkatesh Prabhudessai and also Br. Philip use to attend the said meeting of “GAKUVED” and use to take photographs and was doing videography also. Mostly he use to do work on the internet…”

  1. October 11, 2008
    Maina, Quepem
    Eight protestors were beaten up by goons of the mining industry in the presence of police personnel headed by PI Santos S. Dessai and protestors arrested and sent to jail. 85 year old Dora de Souza too was arrested while she with a group of protestors chained herself on the road carrying iron ore away from the mine. She along with other 3 women were sent to Aguada Jail. Zilla Parishad member Subhas Phaldessai led the attack on protestors at Dinar Tarcar Mine. PI Santos Desai remained passive observer during this time. Priest Mathias D’Cunha sdb, Filmmaker Kurush Canteenwalah and Sebastian Rodrigues too was beaten up and taken into police custody. Quepem Police team led by PI Santos S. Dessai remained mere spectator as the mining goons were beating up the protestors
  2. October 15, 2008
    Maina, Quepem

Police protection to Fomento mine T.C. 06/1949.

  1. November 13, 2008
    Colomba, Sanguem
    Police night patrolling in the village with three police Jeeps began. Police night patrolling continued for three weeks.
  2. November 12, 2008
    Colomba, Sanguem
    86 protestors on Fomento mine T.C.No. 06/1946 were arrested and later released on bail. Fr. Mathias D’Cunha sdb from Sulcorna was abused and by some unruly elements defending Fomentos. He has lodged police complaint. Police took no action. PI Santos S. Dessai was present on the site. At the police station placards of Colomba villagers were confiscated and torn apart under the oral instructions from PI Santos S. Dessai. Police also destroyed people’s food while effecting arrests. Goa Armed Police van and two jeeps full of Police personnel were put in action in defense of the Fomentos. One lady constable bearing badge number 6769 assaulted Colamb female protestor Dument D’Souza just before the arrests in the afternoon in presence of mamlatdar. Similarly Fomento security staff and truck drivers beat up two protestors Shamsunder Naik, Durgadas Gaonkar and Gajanand Raikar causing minor injuries to them. Former editor of Goamtak times Sujoy Gupta who joined Fomento mining company as its vice president directed the security staff to identify the targets for violence from the mining company’s office on Hiralal Khodidas mine at Colomba on this day.
  3. November 17, 2008
    Quepem Police Station, Quepem, Goa
    7 villagers from Colomba, Sanguem protesting against mining invasion of their village were arrested in fabricated criminal case filed by Fomento mining company supporter Surya Naik. PI Santos S. Dessai began arrests by taking Egyps D’Souza into Police custody while he was moving around in Tilamol market. 8 arrested were later released on bail. The villagers are Motesh Antao, Egyps D'Souza, Dument D'Souza, Shanto Velip, Rama Velip, Telu Dias and Xavier Fernandes. They were punished with day long forced stay at Quepem Police station on the next day - November 18, 2008.
  4. Novemeber 19, 2008
    Quepem Police Station, Quepem, Goa
    Warning of Tadi Par – Exile by Police – informally sent to Egyps D’Souza by PI Santos S. Dessai. Egyps would be debarred from entering South Goa jurisdiction, including his home in Quepem taluka once Tadi Par in invoked on him.
  5. November 22, 2008
    Colomba, Sanguem
    Police team visited village with intention to arrest young Tedoz Antao based on the complaint filed against him by Fomento security personnel.
  6. November 27, 2008
    Ambaulim, Quepem
    Police in riot gear clashed on streets when Ambaulim villagers who blocked Iron Ore transport of Dinar Tarcar and Fomentos due to over loading and dust pollution.
  7. November 29, 2008
    Colomba, Sanguem
    Police Protection provided to Fomento Manager en route to Quepem Police Station to file complaint against villagers after they forced stopped the mining transportation.
  8. December 01, 2008
    Colomba, Sanguem
    Police protection provided to Fomentos to transport Iron Ore at Hiralal Khodidas mine (T.C. No. 06/1949).
  9. December 04, 2008
    Quepem Police Station, Quepem
    Colomba villagers warned of Tadi Par. Served 4 days deadline by PI Santosh Desai to end agitation against Fomento mining company and accept sustainable mining. According to PI Santos S. Dessai if Colomba villagers don’t listen then their agitation will be crushed with heavy police force. Entire Police force from Goa will be mobilized to unleash terror on Colamb villagers. Rama Velip, Salvador Dias, Telu Dias, Xavier Fernandes, Purso Gaoncar, Arjun Velip, Chandrakant Gaonkar and Surya Gaonkar witnessed PI Santosh Dessai telling them all this in presence of two Fomento mining company officials.
  10. December 13, 2008

Sanvordem, Sanguem

Stranger male moving around with photograph of youth from Colamb – Tedoz Antao – approached Milagrine Antao and Dument D’souza while on marketing visit to Sanvordem town. He told them that Quepem PI Santos S. Dessai has commissioned him to catch the person on photograph and hand over to him at Quepem Police Station. According to him this youth protesting mining company’s onslaught on his village is involved in Dacoities. Such a insidious defamatory propaganda! This questioning of Colamb women in Sanvordem market by stranger on behalf of Quepem Police was one more instance of desperate attempts by Goa Police-Fomento nexus to spread terror and fear amongst common people resisting mining industry by outsourcing its functions to private agents.

  1. December 17, 2008

Ambaulim, Quepem

Police violence – lathi charge – on peaceful demonstrators against mining trucks creating air pollution and traffic hazards as all the written petitions were not respected and acted upon by Digambar Kamat government.. 7 villagers arrested (William Luis, Satulin Luis, Fatima Fernandes, Franky Rebello, Glen Rebello, Diego Fernandes besides Anton Jose Fernandes who was arrested from his home after the lathi charge.) Police assault on lawyer John Fernandes and attempt to murder criminal case under section 307 of Indian Penal Code filed against Advocate Fernandes. Police Inspector Santosh S. Dessai alleged in local marathi daily - Tarun Bharat issue of December 18, 2008 that Adv. John attempted to murder policemen - ASI Arvind Nagekar - while lathi charging the protestors against transportation of Iron Ore from the road in their village causing enormous dust pollution and traffic congestions. Wife of Advocate John Fernandes, Paulina Fernandes too was criminally charged on this day for rioting and unlawful assembly. Seven school children beaten by police violence, Franky Rebello was hit on head by Police. Amongst other injured includes smt. Lourencina Rebello (65), Andrew Fernandes, William Fernandes, John Fernandes, Smt. Remij Fernandes (50) Francisco Fernandes, Monica Fernandes, Pobre Fernandes and Soccor Fernandes. Quepem PI Santos S. Dessai and Deputy collector Venancio Furtado denied lathi charge though it took place in their presence; in fact administered by both of them – in reply under RTI. This proved that Deputy collector present did not order the lathi charge. South Goa Collector Gokuldas Naik justified it in interview to Times of India of December 19, 2008 and Goa Police authority headed by Justice Eurico Silva defended this lathi charge in his judgment. The legality of this lathi charge is clearly a suspect.

  1. January 06, 2009

Colamb, Sanguem

Police protection provided to Fomento mine in Colamb. It continued on January 07, 2009.

  1. January 15, 2009

Ambaulim, Quepem

Police launched search operation for two days – January 14 to January 15, 2009 to arrest Pobre Fernandes, an active person in resistance to mining industry.

  1. January 20, 2009

Cavrem, Quepem

Five tribal youth resisting mining company were arrested by Police at Quepem Police Station. Their names are Satyendra Gaonkar, Ashish Gaonkar, Sandesh Gaonkar, Ramesh Gaonkar, and Deepak Gaonkar. They were arrested after mines manager Kulkarni at Nevgi mine - operated by Dinar Tarcar - filed complaint against them on January 18, 2009.

33. February 01, 2009

Ambaulim, Quepem

Villager Franky Rebello’s house was visited by Quepem Police Constable Mohan Dessai in the night and Franky’s wife and aged parents were threatened with rendering Franky unemployed. Franky was not at home. Mohan Desai was drunk when on his visit.

34. February 03, 2009

Colomba, Sanguem

Goa Police attached to Quepem Police station served the notice to Tedoz Antao to

surrender before Quepem Police station within 17 hours in response to criminal

case filed against him by Fomentos.

35. February 13, 2009

Colamb, Sanguem

Police visited the residence of Motes Antao, youth resisting mining invasion of his

village of Colomba in Sanguem at 1.33 pm with intention to scare him away.

36. March 20, 2009

Colamb, Sanguem

Motes Antao was whisked away by Police at 10.00 am from his truck in Quepem and arrested over the charge of assault on Government Servant based on the complaint filed by one Ganesh Velip on 29/1/2009 over the incident taken place on 9/1/2009 the Quepem police booked Motes under section 353,504 and 506 r/w. 34 of IPC for giving abusive words to a court bailiff. Motes is one of the active voices of mining terrorism in Goa and has been frequently targeted by the mining industry. This time he was slapped on his face three times by policemen at Quepem police station. First time he was slapped by a policeman in plain clothes at Quepem Police Station and second and third time he was slapped on face while being taken for medical examination at government health centre in Curchorem. PI Devendra Gad was heading the Police Station this time. In the bail application moved by said Motes claimed that on the day of the alleged incident he was not yet all present at the residence. He claimed that he has been falsely booked at the instance of Fomento Mining Company whose summons the Court bailiff had gone to serve to the villagers of Colomba. Goa Police Complaint Authority headed by Justice Eurico Silva ruled in favour of police this time too. Earlier it had done the same in case of Lathi charge on villagers of Ambaulim, Quepem.

  1. March 20, 2009

Colamb, Sanguem

On this same day brother of Motes Antao, Tedoz Antao too was arrested – picked up by police while he was waiting for public transport bus at Tilamol junction. He was criminally charged for restraining one Yeshwant Salunke, security guard of Hiralal Khodidas mine (operated by Fomentos in Colamb) on 13/9/2008 and was booked under section 341, 323, 427, 506(ii) r/w. 34 of IPC.

  1. March 24-25, 2009

Cawrem, Quepem

There was alteration on March 24, 2009 in Cawrem village between two anti - mining activists Alcine Dias and Egyps D'Souza on the one hand and Rivona Panchayat member of Panchayat Ram Gaoncar who once upon a time in 2003 was opponent mining operated by Radha Timblo belonging to Badruddin Mavany mining lease but then surrendered himself and his land to Timblos pressure tactics.

When the two men Alcine and Egyps went to the Police station to register the complaint against Ram Gaoncar, Timblo mining company Manager and another contractor of the Fomento mining company in Colamb swung into action and pressurized the police to register the case against Egyps D'Souza. A case was registered for assault and breach of Public Peace against Egyps. Egyps was detained at the police station for the full one night.

39. March 25, 2009

Quepem Police Station, Quepem

Rama Velip on visit to meet arrested Egyps D’souza at the Quepem Police Station on March 25, 2009 afternoon he was arrested and forced to accept bail and move out of the police station in one old case pertaining to blockade of the mining transport near Fomento mine in Colomba.

40. April 01, 2009

Colomba, Sanguem

Motesh Antao threatened by Quepem Police Inspector Devendra Gad of booking under National Security Act (NSA) to continue harassment in furtherance of numerous false cases filed by Fomento mining company against him. PI Devendra Gad promised to use his police powers to harass Motesh Antao to the last. Motesh was called to the police station by serving call letter when he was awarded with this warning.

41. May 10, 2009

Sirgao, Bicholim

Suresh Babani Gaonkar and Dhruvanjay V. Harmalkar were arrested by Bicholim Police Sub Inspector Terence Vaz and head constable Pradeep Kubal for protesting against Chowgule mining company plying its mining trucks through their property. They were picked by from Sirgao village in North Goa at around 11.30 am without serving any call letters. The arrests came 4 days after the famous Sirgao Zatra festival – in which Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat participated – in the village with scarce water due the giant mining companies sucking their water sources dry.

Once taken into police custody they were put into police lock up. They were not served any meals and were starved till they were bailed out at around 5 pm on the same day.

42. May 20, 2009

Advalpal, Bicholim

Two villagers from Advalpal, Bicholim – Shamsunder Naik and Vijay Pandluskar are arrested at Bicholim Police Station for protesting against Sesa Goa mines on May 10, 2009 under section 151 of Indian Penal Code – Disturbance of Public Peace! They were released from Bicholim Police Lock up at night at 9.00 pm.

43. July 18, 2009

Colomba, Sanguem

For two weeks Rama Velip of Colamb village in Sanguem Taluka was harassed by Goa's Secret Police - CID (Criminal Intelligence Department). Secret police has been visiting the house of Rama Velip and seeking to know about future plans of anti-mining movement. There are phone calls made at Rama Velip's residence at very odd hours in the night and asking him to report to Quepem Police Station.

Rama Velip is heading Gawda, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar Fedearation (GAKUVED) unit under the jurisdiction of Rivona Panchayat and in the middle of resistance movement against mining in Sanguem and Quepem Talukas of South Goa.

CID officer who is involved in harassing Rama Velip is one Premanand Phaldessai attached to Quepem Police Station. He hails from Sanvordem and according to the sources his family members are involved in business of transportation of Iron Ore through ownership of trucks. Harassment stopped only after the officer was reported on internet.

44. September 25, 2009

Colomba, Sanguem

Colamb villager Motes Antao arrested at Quepem Police Station in the morning at 9.15 am. He was called to the police station to collect information he had sought involving detailed information of three police officials – PI Santos S. Dessai, PSI Prakash Desai and HC Arvind Nagekar- under Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI). Motes was threatened at the police station for filing application under RTI on August 14, 2009. Motes Antao was arrested on complaint of November 28, 2008 filed by one Shri C.S.Patil Asst. Personal Manager of Hiralal Khodidas Mine – operated by Fomento mining company in Motes’ village of Colomba in Sanguem under sections 143, 341 and 506 read with 149 of Indian Penal Code (IPC). What is tragic in this whole episode still unfolding is that the citizen is called at the police station to collect information sought under RTI and then threatened and arrest effected on previous cases.

45. October 12, 2009

Usgao, Ponda

157 people protesting against Sesa Goa mines in Condli arrested and released on bond. They had blocked transportation of ore for one week prior to their arrests.

In addition to this there are also incidents of Telephone tapping of the people resisting mining industry in Goa. It is not sure however as to who was doing tapping of the phones. On October 10, 2008 telephone calls from the mobile phone belonging to Sebastian Rodrigues made to the landline phone of Rama Velip in were being tapped. Someone, a male adult voice speaking Hindi received call made to Rama Velip. Similarly when Rama Velip called Sebastian Rodrigues from his landline a male adult voice speaking in Hindi received the call.

On Second occasion on Sunday, August 02, 2009 someone call came in on landline of Sebastian Rodrigues in Siolim saying that the person is calling from telephone exchange and trying to find out if the landline is working alright. Telephone exchange does not attend to telephone repair work on Sunday nor anyone had lodged any complaint pertaining to defect in telephone functioning.

III. Ramifications

The existence of Police State is evident from the above documentation. The democracy and its spaces are shrinking with Police Raj manifesting itself in an unprecedented manner. The tribal people and other silenced voices have been turning to voice out their grievances. They are however offered hostile reception with Police terror. The modus operandi of the State-Mining companies’ nexus in Goa is to file as many police cases as possible on those protesting mining industry and then convert these cases into arrests, and arrests into Court cases. There are several Court cases ongoing across the State of Goa – particularly against the people in Colomba, in Sanguem, Maina in Quepem and Advalpal in Bicholim. The insidious logic being, that Police cases and Court cases will demoralize the ongoing movement against mining industry in Goa.

People of Goa particularly its hitherto silent majority has began to speak out. It has began to expressed its dissent. This dissent is found to be intolerable by the mining elites dominated State of Goa. The response has been to inflict repression with Goa Police as its favored agency.

Situation has come to head on in this manner as the Indian State has developed intolerance to the democratic spaces especially when they are used by conscious poor radical people to express dissent. To agree to the voices from below would amount to the violation of pacts amongst the elites that have decided things even before the conduct of the necessary democratic consultations. There are up teem number of examples in Goa wherein People opposed mining projects under the mandatory Public Hearings taken place with overwhelming opposition from the those present. In some cases the opposition has been 100%. Yet all the mining companies has been awarded with environment clearance by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF). In this way Goa has been turned into colony of India for the purpose of mineral exploitation. Ruling elites in Goa have decided to join the party to the detriment of toiling people of Goa. That’s why Goa’s elites silently collaborating with mining companies. They have no vision other than making some quick riches at the cost of Goa’s ecology and People’s livelihood and Water.

IV. Need for change in Goa Police mindset

Goa Police must undergo fundamental change in the outlook from being defenders of Goa’s mining industry - that is waging war with People of Goa – to being defenders of the People of Goa waging struggle against Goa’s mining plunder. There must be awareness programs conducted for every police officer on how mining industry is destroying Goa and why Goa Police must join the toiling farmers and residents hand – in hand in this; do or die struggle. Behaving as agency of repression on behalf of the mining industry – as has been the case during 2007-2009 - will only lead to demoralization of Police force as public attention and media sensitivity is very acute. Goa Police must refuse to arrest and administer violence on people; instead it must play helpful role towards movement against Goa’s mining industry in the interest of the Goa’s generations yet to be born by acting swiftly on complaints against mining companies. This would mean defending ‘Public’ interest in genuine sense and not the ‘Private’ interest of handful of mining companies engaged in ruining Goa forever. Goa police must join the ranks of people protesting mining industry incursions. People’s revolt against mining industry is essentially a revolt against Indian Colonialism that is manifesting itself in mining belt in collusion with Global exploitative forces. Time is ripe now for Goa Police to bring about historic turn around in their hitherto role as front defense of plunder of Goa through mining.

Note: This paper is prepared to be presented at the State level Seminar on “Human Rights and Environment – A Focus on Goa” at the Department of Political Science, St. Xavier’s College, Mapusa, Goa on International Human Rights Day December 10, 2009.




Goan Mineral Ore Exports: Selected Statistics (Amended upto March 31, 2009), Goa Mineral Ore Exporters’ Association, Panaji. 2009.

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