Pro-mining Goa protesters clash with cops

Pro-mining Goa protesters clash with cops

Nearly 100 persons were detained after a mild lathi-charge, the police said.

The cash-rich mining lobby had threatened a Goa bundh on Tuesday, but they barely managed a traffic disruption in Panaji as a few hundreds, mostly those employed in barges, trucks and hired labour, converged at the Azad Maidan where they clashed with the police.

The Mandovi channel was also blocked by barges for a few hours earlier in the day.

The mining lobby has put out a very visible advertorial campaign in the local media over the past few weeks, challenging CM Digambar Kamat to take up their case.

A front-page advertisement on Tuesday said the “families of truck owners, barge owners, machinery owners and its dependents will starve if the mining industry is shut down for various reasons solely attributable to defunct government” (sic).

It said the state government had been insensitive to its crisis “inspite of being made aware of the situation”.

Kamat told Deccan Herald he agreed with the assessment of iron ore exporters that a ban would lead to a collapse of the state’s economy.