Monday, June 23, 2008

Anti-mining drive refutes Naxalism in Goa

Press Trust of India
Saturday, June 21, 2008 (Panaji)

As Goa state police confirmed keeping a close watch on possibility of Naxal-like activities in the tourist hotspot state's mining belt, anti-mining activists have ridiculed the claim.

There are no Naxal like activities anywhere in the state, people are struggling for their rights and these agitations are bereft of any violence, Sebastian Rodrigues, a youth, who was named as one amongst those involved in Naxal-like activities, told mediapersons on Friday.

The issue cropped up on Thursday when Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar, during the Goa state legislative assembly Ad hoc committee meeting, stated that naxal-like activities are taking shape in state's mining belt.

Parrikar, former chief minister, said that these activities are feeding on the increasing anti-mining sentiments brewing amongst the tribal villagers.

Goa, the coastal state known for its tourism, is also the largest exporter of iron ore in the country. The state saw mining boom in last couple of years when China market flourished.

The recently held Goa legislative assembly session also saw members cite illegal mines at the cost of the environment.

The mining in the villages has irked the villagers, which resulted in two major agitations in Advalpal and Colamb villages.

The naxalite activities have started taking advantage of this unfortunate situation, Parrikar said.

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