According to eye witnesses to the so called retaliation by the local Balli residents against the agitators, the retaliation was by goons and youth hired by the police.
Judith Almeida of Colva Civic Forum who was present at Balli said that she recognized some youth from Cuncolim who were chasing the agitators with bamboo and wooden staffs and also damaging vehicles found along the way.
“When I asked them what happened, they told me that they have been hired by the police to break the agitation,” she said.
Judith who is quite actively involved with the residents of Caurem in their struggle against illegal mining in their area further disclosed that she advised some of the youth from Caurem to stay put where they were and not resort to violence in the wake of the police lathi charge.
She further revealed that she saw Prakash Velip and MLA Ramesh Tawadkar sitting cosily on a parapet and urging the tribals to go forward and face the police brunt while they remained safe behind.
“The tribals have been used for political purpose,” she said.