Current Affairs

Attack on journalists just a start to mining-related violence

The attack and stoppage of 30-odd journalists from Karnataka, Mahashtra and Goa traveling in a bus on route to see the scale of illegal mining at Curpem in Quepem Taluka by a mob of over 100 pro-mining dependent activists appears to be just a start to mining-related violence in the state according to both the pro-mining and anti-mining camps.

Since the release of the Shah Commission report earlier this month, both State and Centre have been in a tussle with each other; when State government through its Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar ordered the stoppage of mines, Union Minister for Environment and Forest (MoEF) Jayanthi Natarajan on her recent visit to Goa, suspended all environmental clearances on mining leases in Goa; this step virtually check-mated the state government and bringing a halt to all mining activities in state on the eve of the opening up of the mining season. investigations into the impact of the decision of state and Centre indicate that while the mine owners and mining companies are expected to face no major loss; it is going to be the barge owners, transport owners and other ancillary services that survive on mining-related business will face the major repercussions and some may even be forced to bring their grievances on to the streets in the days to come on account the massive investments  made into mining-related services and huge loans taken on account of it which now will accumulate. Many mining-dependent people will now be without a steady income and retrenchment will become the order of the day.

Analysis after talks with different associations dependent on mining and even anti-mining activist, it appears that over the next couple of weeks Goa especially in the mining areas can expect a civil unrest and violence.

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