VASCO/MARGAO: Twenty-eight Congress workers including Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar and GPCC women wing president Pratima Coutinho, who were protesting against the bad state of Cortalim-Agassaim stretch of NH17 were on Thursday arrested by the Verna police under Section 151 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
Traffic jams are the order of the day on the said road for months now with the situation worsening in the last few days.
“The Verna police have made a preventive court arrest, under section 151 of CrPC to 28 Congressmen who were trying to march along NH17 stretch from Thana Cortalim to Agassaim after they failed to listen to the request made by the superintendent of police South Arvind Gawas and other police officials on Thursday morning”, said the deputy collector and sub-divisional magistrate Mormugao Mahadev Araundekar.
He disclosed that the GPCC president Chodankar along with other party workers were supposed to demonstrate at Cortalim junction, but giving due respect to the appeal made by the deputy superintendent of police Vasco Sunita Sawant and in view of the Saptah celebrations in the port town, the protesters decided to stage a peaceful demonstration near Thana Cortalim junction, without causing any hindrance to traffic and people.
The police were forced to arrest the Congress party workers when they made an attempt to march as per their plans along Thana Cortalim to Agassaim stretch. The arrested Congress workers were then released on bail.
The superintendent of police South Arvind Gawas, deputy superintendent of police Vasco Sawant, deputy superintendent of police Margao, Raju Raut Dessai, deputy superintendent of police Quepem Uttam Raut Dessai, Verna PI Neenad Deulkar, Mormugao PI Shailesh Narvekar, Margao PI Kapil Nayak, Fatorda PI Navlesh Dessai, Colva PI Filomena D’Costa, Cuncoliem PI Sudesh Naik besides other police officials were personally monitoring the situation at the site.
Meanwhile, condemning the arrest, the Congress party has said that they were peacefully protesting the poor traffic management on the Cortalim to Agassaim road.
Speaking to the media after their release from Verna police station, Nuvem MLA Wilfred D’Sa, GPCC president Girish Chodankar, South Goa Congress president Joe Dias and Mahila Congress president Pratima Coutinho said that they were only intending to stage a peaceful protest on the poor traffic management.
“The problem has been persistent for several months and in the last three days, it has worsened. On Monday, ambulances were not able to move leading to the death of two people. Many missed flights, people were late for work, and students were forced to miss school” said Chodankar.