People affected with suspension of mining activity in Goa have decided to take their fight to the national capital as they plan a 48-hour-long dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on April 15 and 16.
Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF) announced this on Monday while withdrawing their 71-day-long protest at Azad Maidan in Panaji. The sit-in at Jantar Mantar would be to “draw attention of the Supreme Court and the central government towards the issue of mining dependent people,” GMPF Convenor Suhas Naik said. “We will try to bring to the notice of the SC and central government that the current ban on mining is affecting 3-4 lakh people in Goa. There should be an immediate solution to the crisis and mining should restart,” Naik told reporters in Panaji on Monday.
The GMPF, while withdrawing its strike on Monday, warned that the agitation would be intensified henceforth in the villages where people are suffering due to ban on mining. The state government should lead an all party delegation to the Centre demanding immediate resumption of mining, he said. The central government should offer a financial package to the people affected with mining closure, he said. “The state government used to earn up to Rs 1,500 crore from mining in Goa and central government earned Rs 7,000 crore in the form of taxes. Now it’s time for the Union government to provide financial package to rehabilitate the affected people,” he said.
The GMPF has also demanded that the state Legislative Assembly should unanimously adopt a resolution that mining should be immediately started. “The banks should also reschedule loans given to people in the mining industry and waive off interest on the capital during the period when mining has stopped,” Naik demanded.