PANJIM: National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Goa chief secretary and the Director General of Police in connection with the alleged violation of human rights during a tribals-led anti-mining agitation in Cauvrem village.  The commission in its notice, dated May 24, has given four weeks time to the chief secretary and the DGP to file a reply.
Savio Rodrigues, a media professional, had moved NHRC alleging violation of human rights of tribals of Cauvrem village by the state government agencies, especially police.
Around 100-odd tribals from Cauvrem village on April 23 had accused local police of exercising brutal force in crushing their protests against alleged illegal mining activities in their village, located 80 kms away from the state capital.
Rodrigues also pointed out the attack on anti-mining activist Nilesh Gaonkar, who was one amongst several youths, who tried to stop the trucks allegedly carrying extract from mines, and of brutalities committed by police against Velip and Gaonkar tribes in the village.
Cauvrem has five iron ore mines. The state government had in March shut down an illegal mine in the village following protests by the villagers who accused that the illegal extraction has destroyed up to 90 per cent cultivation area of chilly and paddy.  "The villagers were only upholding the directives of the government while staging a peaceful demonstration and stopped movement of trucks," Rodrigues said.
A report highlighting the plight of the villagers, the incidents in the past and recent, including a video grab (showing footage of a woman being dragged by policemen) of lathi-charge, and a report on the attack on Gaonkar was sent to the NHRC by Rodrigues. – PTI


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