Local Goa News

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cops get clean chit in fishing protest case

Panaji: South Goa collector Swapnil Naik's report, on the agitation against fishing trawlers' use of LED lights held earlier on May 12, has not substantiated the allegations of police lathi-charge on protesting fishermen.
The fishermen were demanding a ban on fishing with the help of LED lights which attract a large number of fish due to their powerful glow underwater, saying it would lead to a fish famine in Goa waters.
They had anchored their boats and canoes blocking river Mandovi and Sal channels, in protest for a couple of days, in spite of the state government already issuing a notification banning the use of LED lights in its territorial waters. Twenty-five protestors were taken into custody and allegations of police using canes to break up the protest had surfaced soon after.
Sources said it has not been established in the report submitted on July 25 that police had resorted to lathi-charge as accused by protesters who had gathered in large numbers outside the fisheries department. They added the report clarifies that crime branch SP Karthik Kashyap had not ordered a lathi charge as alleged by some and the sub-divisional magistrate had asked the police only to clear the place after some protesters allegedly tried to prevent fisheries director Shamila Monteiro from leaving her office.
At that time, chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar had also denied the use of lathi -charge on fishermen even as the deployment of the police force to remove the protesters was criticized by opposition parties.
Aam Aadmi Party which is trying to gain a foothold in the state ahead of the assembly elections in 2017 had demanded judicial inquiry into the matter and under mounting pressure, the state government had ordered a magisterial probe.

TOI Goa News

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