The Mollem Agitation has reached its peak with the national and international media covering every move of the agitation. One of the historic protests with more than five thousand people from Goa was gathered not the railway line to stop the double-tracking work which was carried out by the state government during the nighttime with full police protection.
The issue here is that the Goans are now protesting against the mega projects that are being carried out in the state to help the big corporate houses and the Coal handling is one of them.
Looking at the growing protest from the Goans, the state government has taken a new route and registered a FIRs against the conveners of Goyant Kolso Naka and Goencho Ekvott, two organizations leading the movement to ‘Save Mollem’.
The protesters have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, which include unlawful assembly, restriction of movement, and rioting.
According to the Indian Express report, Pankaj Singh, South Goa SP said: “We will probe in detail. The sections, for now, are against the six convenors of the two NGOs.”
The activists said they would respond to the initiation of criminal action. Speaking with NewsClick, Deepika D’Souza from Goyant Kolso Naka said: “We are trying to work out the details of the FIR since we haven’t gone through it, but we are going to respond to it and continue with the protests.”
The activities have alleged that this move is nothing but the intimidation tactics carried out by the ruling BJP government to crush the movement but that did not stop the activists and they started the alternative campaign on social media platforms with the hashtag #ArrestMeToo.
The #ArrestMeToo is an attempt to show that the FIR wasn’t a setback and that no attempt to silence them will bear fruit. “We are not taking this lightly at all; we are trying to fight back with facts and not false narratives,” the activist said.
Activists on the ground also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of the same. They said the move will threaten the ecology, public health, and heritage of the state. Residents alleged that the government has given its go-ahead for work to begin on these projects despite the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) process being incomplete. The rail track doubling project reportedly involves the felling of trees in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and in a national park on the state border.