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The locals gathered at the Defexpo site on Wednesday

Opponents up the ante at Defexpo site




Upping their ante against the Defence Expo to be held in March,  villagers of Betul and surrounding areas on Wednesday drove away  the trucks believed to be carrying fencing materials for the  expo.

Highly placed sources said the district administration, which is gearing up for a showdown with locals, has planned to make elaborate security arrangements.

Strong posse of police personnel drawn from various police stations will be deployed at Betul, as work is set to commence from Thursday morning.

The Betul villagers came on the streets on Wednesday morning  after news came in about the three trucks driving   in  onto the Defexpo site reportedly carrying fencing materials.

The Andhra Pradesh-registered trucks made a  retreat seeing the presence of a large number of people.

Politicians also made their presence felt at the Betul plateau with Fatorda MLA Vijay Sardessai, Quepem MLA Chadrakant Kavalekar, Quepem municipal council chairperson Filu D’Costa, zilla panchayat members and others visiting the place.

The government drew strong criticism from various quarters for riding roughshod over the sentiments of the people.

Kavalekar asked the government as why it was shying away from taking locals into confidence and imposing the event on the people against their wishes.

Fr Eremito Rebello, who was also present at the site, warned the government that people would not keep quiet if it continues thrusting upon   decisions on the people against their wishes in such an undemocratic manner.

Sardessai, who has been vocal against the government on the Defence Expo, challenged  Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar to arrest Defexpo  opponents, instead of explaining the people the supposed benefits of the event.

Goa Froward leader Prashant Naik also spoke against the expo.


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