Gaunkars put govt on notice
The Goan Gaunkary Movement, an organisation fighting the rights of the comunidades has shot off a letter to the Chief Engineer of the water resources warning him that none of the provisions of the Goa Khazan Land Development Board Act, 2012 currently a bill, should infringe on the areas coming under comunidades which are entities independent of the State.
“The private laws of the village communities of Goa enshrined in the Code of Comunidades enjoy full protection under the Constitution of India for all legal purposes. Only laws, bodies and authorities implemented in accordance with the provisions of the code are legal and binding in the comunidade village. The State government has no constitutional or legislative competence to enact, amend, supersede or superimpose any of its laws, enactments, bodies or authorities over and above or in contravention of the said code,” the letter signed by Savio Herman D’Souza of the movement said.
D’Souza who is well-versed with the code of comunidades, said the 223 comunidades in Goa possessing land in their respective villages are ‘absolute properties to themselves’ where State landlordism is totally absent.
“Please take note, therefore that the government of Goa through your office or otherwise, does not include any of the 223 private comunidade villages under the said proposed act… Any violation of the code… by imposition of State made enactments… through any of its various agencies/bodies — which includes the Goa Legislative Assembly — in any of the 223 absolute private comunidade villages in Goa shall be unconstitutional, illegal and not binding on any of the said comunidade villages,” D’Souza said adding that failure to do so shall amount to human rights violations, abuse of power atrocities etc. [H]