Two dead in Goa as tribals clash

They were identified as that of Mahesh Gaonkar, 26 and Dilip Velip, 28, both members of the Goa Tribal Association Alliance (GTAA). The police said the case was being investigated as a murder. But GTAA president Prakash Velip said the victims’ families had refused to claim the bodies unless the government ordered a judicial inquiry into the matter.

BJP MLA Ramesh Talwadkar said the two victims were probably beaten up and dumped into the factory godown which was later set on fire by goons. Four other persons who were trapped on a higher floor were rescued. Over 6,000 tribals had converged at Balli on Wednesday to push for demands such as reservation in government jobs etc. The  blockade erupted into full-scale violence, compelling South Goa Collector G P Naik to order a lathi-charge.   

The agitators had come prepared with dhandas and ‘coitas’, and the 200-strong police presence was less than inadequate, Naik told Deccan Herald. The district magistrate said he took shelter in a local house after stones were thrown at him.

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