Taking cognizance of the issues escalating in the Maina-Caurem belt on account of illegal mining; post the police lathi charge on the peaceful demonstration of the villagers and now the attack on Caurem Youth Leader Nilesh Gaonkar, GoaChronicle.com has knocked the doors of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in New Delhi to intervene in the matter at the Centre and State-level.
While confirming the route taken and elaborating on the discussion with the NHRC, Savio Rodrigues, Editor-in-Chief, GoaChronicle.com said, “The issue at Caurem especially the police Lathi charge on the villagers and attack on Nilesh Gaokar is a gross violation of the basic human rights of individual. The villagers of Caurem were only upholding the directives of the government when they staged a peaceful demonstration on the road, that restrained the trucks from plying; Sarpanch Agnelo Fernandes asked the police to intervene in the matter because of the insistence of the mining truck owners and police did so while failing on their own duty to uphold the government directive. Similarly Nilesh Gaonkar is fighting for the rights of the people of the Caurem village that has been plagued by the menace of mining; there was no need to attack a youngster like him who was advocating grievances of the villagers through dialogue and not violence. Hence we decided to come forward in support of the villagers and Nilesh Gaonkar to now use our influence at the Centre and State-level to get some logical answers and a corrective action.”
A report highlighting the plight of the villagers, the incidents in the past and recent including the exclusive police Lathi charge video (where a footage of a woman being dragged by the police is also shot) and a report on Nilesh Gaonkar attack has been sent to the Secretary General, NHRC and Director General, NHRC post the telephonic discussion between the GC team and NHRC.
“Our discussion with the Director General, Sunil Krishna has been elaborate and he requested us to send NHRC all the details and videos in our possession, so that it could be discussed in a meeting on May 16, 2011, following which the next course of action would be decided. The next course of action could also entail sending a special team from New Delhi to investigate into the matter since we mentioned that we were not confident that locally any serious results could be expected owing to the powerful mining lobby control over most government authorities,” Rodrigues added.