Director General of Police Aditya Arya sparked off a controversy with his statement that if he was at Balli on 25th May, he would have issued shoot orders which drew a sharp reaction from tribals in Goa accusing the government of having a bias against them.
Responding to questions by media persons during the seminar “Human Rights – Goa Audit” organized by the International Centre Goa, the DGP argued that the United Tribals Associations Alliance (UTAA) leaders had lost control over the massive crowd that was protesting at Balli on that day.
Vehicles were burnt and many people including police personnel were injured, he said adding that in such a situation, he would have ordered firing.
The comment drew a sharp reaction from UTAA President Prakash Velip who said it revealed the mind set of the administration which continued to look down upon the tribals as uncouth and unmanageable community.
He also pointed out that earlier the police spokesperson Atmaram Deshpande had said that the tribals were drunk or in the process of getting drunk on 25th May and said such statements from officers would only result in antagonizing the tribals.
Later in the day, probably realizing the impact of his statement, the DGP clarified that he would have ordered firing in the air to disperse the crowd and not firing upon the people.