Action Alert

Arrest of ten activists of Mand Adivasi Resource Centre in Goa at Quepem Poilice Station

Dear Friends

Today, ten activists including Sebastian Rodrigues of Mand Adivasi Resource Centre struggling against mining activities in the area for the past two decades have been arrested at Quepem Police Station. It is to be noted that the police shamelessly watched the activists being beaten up by local mining mafia at the site of struggle clearly exposing the nexus between the mining mafia-corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and local police.

Mining activities in the area will create a devastating impact on the ecology and livelihoods of the farmers. People in the area have been resisting against forcible evictions, release of toxic wastes into local waters and springs, release of waste water into agricultural fields which created huge losses for farmers in the past and initiating mining activities in rich buffer zones of sanctuary areas. It is clear in the Wildlife Protection Act that no such activities should be allowed in the area. It is shocking to hear that clearances have been given even though in the public hearing for the mining activities in Maina, Cowrem and Rivona majority of the people had said ’no to mining’ making its clearance against the will of the people , undemocratic and anti people. The mining authorities, here Tarcar Mines have been consistently using their nexus with politicians, police to get easy clearances for their activities making a mockery of all the environmental laws.

The protests at Maina today is a sign of the kind of atrocities being meted out to people resisting mining terrorism in the Goa. Cheryl D’Souza, her daughter and mother have refused to be compensated for their farmlands to allow mining in the area and yet have been facing continuous threats from the mining mafia. Cheryl had approached the Goa Chief Minister two days ago to act on the issue but he could not promise anything. Her family chained themselves to the trucks today with support from activists from Mand Adivasi Resource Centre and resisted transportation of ore of 200 trucks from the area. The protests turned ugly when the local mafia beat them up, destroyed their cameras and the police watched the situation. They have been arrested by the police and we demand their immediate release from Quepem Police Station.

We appeal to you to kindly send letters to the Chief Minister and Governor of Goa for immediate release of the arrested activists, arrest and initiate police action against the goons who physically assaulted the activists and immediately halt mining in the area.

Their phone and fax numbers are

Goa Chief Minister

Digambar Kamat

Office: 2419841,2411049, FAX-2419846

Residence : 2730432, FAX-2223648

Goa,Pin:-403601

Email: mla-marg.goa nic.in

Goa Governor

S C Jamir

Telephone (Off) : (0832) 2453506, 2453507, 2453508

Fax : (0832) 2453510

Email : gv.goa nic.in

We request you to immediately write to the Chief Minister and Governor and express solidarity with the struggle.

In Solidarity,

Vijay Pratap, Convenor, Lokayan/SADED-CSDS, Kuldeep Nair, Asit Das, People’s Political Front, Sayantoni Datta, SADED-CSDS, Shaweta Anand SADED-CSDS

Note: For more details please visit mandgoa.blogspot.com

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