Goa Police on Friday handed over 36.85 lakh to the deputy collector, Quepem, for the paying of compensation money to each of the 737 victims of violation of human rights during an anti-mining agitation led by tribals in Cavrem village. The money is likely to be distributed on Saturday. Each victim will get 5,000.
Police sources confirmed to TOI that they have handed over the amount to the deputy collector. As per the government's directions, the deputy collector has to pay the compensation amount to victims on or before March 31, 2013.Additional secretary (Home) Sanjiv Gadkar forwarded the list of the victims affected by the mining activities in the human rights violation case to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), for payment of compensation.
The finance department sanctioned an advance of 36.85 lakh from the contingency fund under the budget head of the police department, for paying the compensation.
Gadkar requested the South Goa collector to make the necessary arrangements for the payment of compensation to the said 737 victims at the rate of 5,000 each, amounting to 36.85 lakh on or before March 31, in order to avoid any delays in submission of the report to the NHRC.
In November 2012, the NHRC had issued directions to the state government to pay 5,000 to each of the victims of the alleged human rights violations by the police. The police are alleged to have "unleashed a reign of terror on innocent villagers" of Cavrem in an incident that occurred in that village in April 2011.
The complaint to the NHRC with regards to Cavrem agitation was filed by Savio Rodrigues on May 19, 2011. He had pointed out to the villagers' agitation "against the plying of mining trucks beyond the government-stipulated timing", which continued for several days. The NHRC team had visited Cavrem to probe the case. On April 23, 2011, a large number of Cavrem residents took to the streets protesting illegal mining and unregulated mining transportation, blocking all roads and disrupting mining transportation.
Close to 100 villagers, including elderly people, were arrested and taken to police station. The villagers had alleged that many of them were manhandled by the police to the extent that one of the women's sari got torn and her mangalsutra lost. [TOI]