GOVT PROTECTS THE KILLERS OF BALI TRIBALS: UTAA

PANJIM: Tribal leaders on Monday accused the government of protecting the killers of two tribal activists, who lost their lives during the Bali violence on May 25.  "Two of our people died. While the perpetrators are out free, our people are in jail. Only one has been arrested," United Tribal Associations Alliance (UTAA) leader and BJP MLA, Mr Ramesh Tawadkar told media during a daylong symbolic dharna at Azad Maidan to protest against the government apathy towards tribals.
UTAA convenor, Mr Prakash Velip said that the Crime Branch instead of getting to the bottom of the case were more interested in harassing their men and were regularly issuing summons and making them sit for hours at their office.
The activists also agued that neither the chief minister nor any other minister was interested in the welfare of the tribals, pointing out that till date the judicial enquiry in the Bali killings had still not started. "Where is the judicial enquiry which the chief minister promised? Are there no retired judges available? The killers of Mangesh Gaonkar and Dilip Velip are still at large," Mr Velip told media. "The government has not done anything till date, besides harassing our people. But we will not be cowed down. Our agitation will continue," he added.
After the violence, the chief minister had assured the tribal leaders of a judicial enquiry into the incident and the case was transferred to the Crime Branch.
Tribal leaders, who have been demanding implementation of reservation for tribals in government jobs and other tribal rights, claimed that nothing is being done in this direction. "The government is just promising things. The coordination committee meeting that it had promised has still not happened. Our money is still not being spent for our development. These are all excuses," Mr Velip charged.

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