Panaji: The protest-march, taken out by
people dependent on the mining industry in Goa, took a violent
turn on Tuesday afternoon, when police resorted to cane-charge,
allegedly injuring several protesters here.
People dependent on mining in the mining belt in Goa
had organised a protest rally here to demand protection to the
iron ore export from the state.
The protest march, which went off in a peaceful manner
initially, soon took a violent turn, following a scuffle
between the agitators and police.
One of the leaders heading the protest march, Pradip
Sawant, claimed that at least hundred protesters were injured
in the scuffle that went on for ten minutes on Dayanand
Bandodkar Road, adjacent to Mandovi river here.
Sawant alleged that the cane-charge was not provoked
and Deputy Superintendent of Police Deukumar Banaulikar
ordered his men to hit the protesters "without any reason".
He further alleged that H Bhingui, the main leader of
the agitation, was dragged for almost half a kilometre on the
road and was beaten up by the police.
Superintendent of Police (North) Waman Tari, however,
said that the cane-charge was ordered after the mob started
pelting stones and bottles on the police.
Several thousand protesters were gathered in the city
today as a part of their scheduled agitation demanding
protection to the legal mining business and exports. They have
called for Chief Minister Digambar Kamat`s intervention over
The iron ore trade in the state is staring at an
uncertain future in the wake of Justice M B Shah Commission
inquiry, as its report is expected to be submitted to the
Union Mines Ministry in the first week of December.
According to official figures, last year, Goa exported
54 million metric tonnes of ore, tapped from about 90 mines
that are situated along the remote talukas on the state.