In order that throws open serious questions to the functioning of the mining companies in collision with the government and police authorities, the NHRC order states, “As per the complaint received by the commission on 19/05/2011, the villagers had been suffereing from air pollution and noise pollution as the mining truck owners and companies have been plying their vehicles beyond the government stipulated time which continued for some days. The local police instead of sympathizing with the villagers, unleased a reign of terror on innocent villagers. The police also resorted to Lathi Charge on men and women and in some cases on some children also.”
The order further states that the human rights of the villagers/victims have thus been violated. In these circumstances, the Commission feels that a grant of monetary relief is justified. An amount of Rs 5000/- each is recommended to be paid to all victims. The Chief Secretary, Government of Goa is directed to send proof of payment made to the victims to the Commission within four weeks.
It is also interesting to note that the NHRC has made a comment stating that pursuant to a reminder dated 05/07/2012 which was sent the Chief Secretary, no response has been received and it appears that the government has nothing to say in the matter.
“The act of the police listening to their political godfathers and mining companies was wrong. We decided to raise the issue with the NHRC to bring to light the atrocities committed on the innocent villagers, when all other machinery of the state authorities seem to be siding with the perpetrators rather than the villagers who were only defending their rights. We presented the facts of the case, including video footage of the police beating the villagers and even dragging a woman in a sari. We feel vindicated by the NHRC order and we hope that the current government adheres to the recommendation of the NHRC and compensate the. villagers,” expressed Savio Rodrigues, editor-in-chief, GoaChronicle.com.