The Mining agitation called by the Mining affected people from all over the Goa took an ugly turn, when agitators became violent and started creating nuisance by troubling the innocent people on the road, and main reason behind this was the involvement of the members of the Goa Taxi Union, claimed the PWD Minister Mr. Sudin Dhavalikar.
According to the news published in the national daily the Times of India, PWD minister Ramkrishna, ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar indirectly blamed the taxi union members for Monday’s violence at the mining-affected people’s protest and said the “provocative” speeches by their leaders were the cause for the law and order problem. He said the taxi unions joined the protest without prior intimation and their participation was illegal. In the absence of capable leaders, who could guide the protesters, the agitation turned violent, he said here on Wednesday.
It may be recalled that more than 3,000 so-called mining dependent had blocked the two major bridges on the Mandovi River bringing the entire traffic on the NH 17 to the standstill for the whole day on Monday. Later on, the police had to resort to lathi-charge to disperse the crowd that had started pelting stones on the police vehicles. “Police had no alternative, but to act, as it was a law and order problem,” Dhavalikar said adding that “Whether it is taxi operators or mining dependents or others agitating, they should first ensure they are led by the right leaders.”
The problem would not have occurred, had the agitators adhered to their originally chalked programme, Dhavalikar told reporters after a cabinet advisory committee (CAC) meeting called to review Monday’s agitation. Protesters damaged public property, including five state transport buses, a fire brigade vehicle and a police van. Seven persons were injured, including five policemen in the lathi-charge. Town and country planning minister Vijai Sardesai, a CAC member, said more police personnel were injured in the violence than civilians.
Dhavalikar said three vehicles were parked on one of the Mandovi bridges leading to a congestion, and cranes had to be brought to remove them. “Police have got the registration numbers of the vehicles that blocked traffic, and their owners are being traced. Action will be taken against them, as well as those booked for violence,” he said. Dhavalikar said the only good thing the agitators did was they refrained from entering the city till 10.30am in view of the ongoing Class XII exams. “The leaders of the agitation were informed about alternative venues they could use instead of the KTC bus stand, but they did not pay heed to the advice,” he said.