‘Goa chief minister anti-tribal’

July 18th, 2011 - 3:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Panaji, July 18 (IANS) Tribal leaders here Monday accused Chief Minister Digambar Kamat of being “anti-tribal” and protecting the killers of two tribal activists during a May rally this year.

Speaking to reporters during a day-long tribal protest here, convenor of the United Tribal Associations Alliance (UTAA), Prakash Velip, said that Kamat’s disinterest in tribal welfare affairs was obvious as no judicial enquiry was in sight into the killing of two tribal activists during an agitation at Balli, some 50 km from here, May 25.

“Where is the judicial enquiry which the chief minister promised? Are there no retired judges available? The killers of Mangesh Gaonkar and Dilip Velip (both tribal activists) are still at large. The chief minister is anti-tribal,” Velip told reporters at the Azad Maidan here.

Days after the violence, Kamat had assured the tribal leaders of a judicial enquiry into the incident. The case was also transferred to the Crime Branch for investigation.

The tribal leaders, who have been demanding implementation of reservation for tribals in government jobs and other tribal rights, have also said that Crime Branch officers were more interested in harassing tribal activists and threatening them rather than probing the killings.

“Those who killed Mangesh and Dilip are still at large. Only one person has been arrested. They were young boys who were attacked and thrown into fire, where they were charred to death. It cannot have been done by one person,” tribal activist and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Ramesh Tawadkar said.

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