“It’s like Liberation Movement of Advalpal from colonial mindset of miners”. This is how Ramesh Gauns sums up the Advalpal people’s revolt in Bicholim taluka against open cast iron ore and magnesium mining.
Around 600 villagers marched on the mines leased out to Litho Ferro, Sesa Goa, and Salgaoncar mining companies this morning. At around 4 pm two villagers were arrested while on a delegation to deputy collector’s office in Bicholim. Shamsunder Naik and Kashinath Gad were whisked away by police officials attached to Bicholim police station.
As a quick reaction to the above arrests, around 500 people descended at the Bicholim Police station in two vans offering their arrests too. Police were in the process of completing formalities of arrests when the report last came in at 6.45pm.
Section 151 of CrPC was applied to register cases against over 100 Advalpal protestors today.
Large number of women is also a part of the 500 strong group that has gone to court arrest at Bicholim police station, in fact one van is full of women and the other of men.
Reports received at 8 pm discloses that 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. The process of releasing them on bail was on when the last reports came in.
Fometos are operating Litho Ferro mining lease in Advalpal and has one of the worst records in applying State police force and entire machinery to silence people's protests. The best examples of these are Colamb in Sanguem and Pissurlem in Sattari talukas.
While all these protests are raging throughout the state of Goa, Government continues continues to be active collaborator of Goa's mining plunder and loot.
Sebastian Rodrigues with input from Shyamsunder Naik in Police custody at Bicholim Police Station, Bicholim, Goa.