Local Goa News

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

15 Nirankal locals booked for damaging Wanarmare tribe houses

Terming the people of monkey hunter tribe (Wanarmare community) a nuisance to society, a group of villagers from Nirankal-Bethora in Ponda demolished 13 hutments belonging to the primitive tribe on Sunday evening and asked occupants to vacate as early as possible.
During this time, men folk from the community were away at work with only women and children being at home. Panicked over the “attack”, women and children fled from the spot and took shelter in nearby forest.
Some social workers reached the spot and intimated police. Villagers stuck to their demand even after arrival of police and around 30 to 40 villagers led by the Bethora-Nirankal panchayat sarpanch Poonam Sawant demanded eviction of Wanarmares from the area. They alleged that the Wanarmare community is a nuisance to the society due to their “unacceptable” cultural habits and behavior.

But Ponda police refused to give into the demands of villagers and provided protection to the families and property of Wanarmares. Police registered an offence against 15 villagers including 5 women for trespass, unlawful assembly and destruction, after receiving a complaint from South Goa district magistrate on Monday. They were also booked under the ST/SC Act of 1989 for wrongfully dispossessing a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe from his land or premises or interfering with the enjoyment of his rights over land, premises or water. SDM Ponda in a memorandum asked SDPO to give protection to the families and property of Wanarmare.
Villagers are however still firm on their demand for eviction of the community and have also given a representation to police on Sunday night.
Wanarmare families inhabit forest areas of Ponda, Sattari and Pernem talukas for years. A Wanarmare sympathiser questioned as to why they are singled out and asked to vacate forest land where they are living for years.
Twenty-odd Wanarmare families with eighty-odd members in Nirankal were brought under the food security act and given ration cards and Aadhar cards recently.
According to sources, process to bestow voting rights on the Wanarmares that was started has irked the villagers. It may be recalled that at a gram sabha of Bethora panchayat recently, a resolution to move monkey killers out of the panchayat area was passed. People were aggrieved over the district collector’s initiative to provide ration and Aadhar cards to the Wanarmares.

NT Network Goa News

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