It may be recalled that in the month of April, Caurem villagers had launched a campaign against trucks illegally transporting ore through their village and had even stopped some of them.
On 23rd April, in a pre-planned move aimed at giving relief to the beleaguered ore transporters, a strong police force descended on the village and brutalized the villagers including the elderly and women and they were later taken to the Quepem Police Station.
Around 150 villagers were brought to the police station where they were detained under Section 151 of the Indian Penal Code. The villagers stood their ground and refused to leave from the police station and it was only when police agreed not to register any cases against them the villagers left for their homes.
Surprisingly, 95 villagers have now been summoned by the Deputy Collector, to be present before him on 5th July at 10:30 am based on a complaint lodged by Rahul Dhamuskar alleging that the villagers are likely to breach peace.
While 10 villagers –Caurem Adivasi Bachao Samiti President Nilesh Gaonkar, Paik Deu Velip, Mangal Satyawan Velip, Satyawati Kuiro Velip, Deepawati Gaonkar, Prabhawati Prabhakar Velip, Shailawati Fondu Velip, Sangeeta Soiru Velip, Dattaram Dessai and Vishwesh Balkrishna Prabhu – have been named in the summons, the other villagers are summoned by just stating “84 other villagers”.
Ironically, while the police have complained to the magistrate and the magistrate in turn has summoned the villagers even though there is no fear of any breach of peace now since mining operations have come to a halt due to monsoons, the police have not acted with the same alacrity to the notices sent to it by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
It may be recalled that following a complaint lodged by Goa Chronicle. Com the NHRC had issued notices to the Chief Secretary, Government of Goa and Goa Police, which have not been replied to by them till date.