Goa mining body condemns attack on activist
Panaji: More than a week after an activist protesting illegal mining in Goa`s tribal heartland was assaulted by unidentified people allegedly belonging to the mining mafia, the Goa Mining Association (GMA) on Friday condemned the assault.
In a statement issued here, GMA president Narayan Bandekar said the heinous attack last week was not only an attack on Nilesh Gaonkar, who was "boldly leading agitations against illegal mining", but "on an entire society, including members of the GMA".
"I earnestly call upon the police authority and other enforcement authorities to bring the culprits to book and ensure severest punishment possible under law," Bandekar said.
Gaonkar, an engineer working with an MNC, was assaulted on May 12, by unidentified people near his workplace at Verna, 25 km from Panaji.
Gaonkar has been leading anti-mining protests at Cavrem, a tribal village 60 km from Panaji. The tribal villagers have been protesting illegal and rampant mining in the vicinity of Cavrem, which is surrounded by five mines.
Tribals also have been up in arms over attempts of the mining lobby to take over a forested hill, which they believe is home to their spirit gods, near Cavrem.
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