Around 56 persons including three women protesting against transportation of e-auctioned ore from Fomento’s Cuddegal mine were arrested by police on Wednesday when some unknown persons pelted stones at the trucks.
The people were demanding reinstatement of services of 219-odd employees of the mine who were retrenched on the grounds that the mining activities have stopped. Majority of the employees were locals. Reliable sources informed that some five trucks were at the site on Wednesday morning and over 100 people came there and declared that they will not allow the ore transportation.
Police personnel from Curchorem, Quepem and Sanguem police stations were also present at the site. Deputy collector and mamlatdar of Dharbandora were also summoned. But, some unknown persons pelted stones at the empty trucks and this led to commotion and police arrested 56 persons including local labour leaders Naresh Shigaonkar, Prashant Gaonkar and Nilesh Velip, who is also a member of Collem village panchayat.
The arrests were made under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 148 read with 149 (assaulting with deadly weapons with common intention), 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (assault) and 336 (endanger human life) of IPC.
Prashant Gaonkar informed that memorandum regarding demands of the ex-employees have been submitted to all concerned authorities a long time ago. It was demanded that the local ex-employees should be employed if the mining activity starts at the mine.