Saturday’s Margao incident wherein mining-dependent people disrupted a seminar on the Shah Commission report has triggered outrage amongst the civil society and others.
Adv Radharao Gracias has said that what has happened in Margao on Saturday is totally disturbing. “The trouble in Goa is that people are increasingly becoming rabid and do not seem to tolerate opposition to anything. We are totally disturbed with what has happened in Margao. The mining-dependent people had no business to come and disrupt the peaceful seminar,” he asserted.
What was shocking, he said, was that the police colluded with the mining-dependent people. “The police should have stopped the people from disrupting the meeting and given those attending the seminar protection. All far-right organizations, whether the Nazis in Germany or the Fascists in Italy, tend to be anti-human rights. They oppose freedom and the BJP in Goa seems to be working on the same lines,” he said.
While condemning what was happening in Goa, Radharao urged the people of Goa not to be brow beaten by fascist forces and stand up and support the activist opposing illegal mining. “There cannot be mining unless parameters are set and the loopholes are plugged,” he added.
Social activist Sidharth Karapurkar said Saturday’s incident appeared stage managed and has come two days after Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar made a statement that the situation in the mining belt is boiling.
“What had happened in Margao was in bad taste. You cannot attack the NGOs. They should have protested outside the premises of mining companies and demand recovery of the mining loot pegged at Rs 35,000 crore,” he mentioned
He added further, “It is sad that these same people were used by the mining company for their loot. And, they are being used now to start mining,”
Activist Kim Miranda, who was one of the participants at the seminar, said that it was indeed sad that clear-cut attempts were being made to suppress the voices.
“This is highly condemnable. You cannot just target the activists who are fighting for the protection of the environment. We understand that livelihood of people is affected by closure of mining activity. But one cannot target peaceful citizens,” she added. [H]