Published: 07th January 2021
Police file FIRs after violence erupts over the construction of IIT Goa campus
Unknown persons have been accused of rioting, assaulting police officials and preventing government officials from discharging their duty
Police in Goa on Thursday booked First Information Reports in connection with Wednesday evening's violence related to the construction of the IIT-Goa campus in North Goa's Melaulim village.
Unknown persons have been accused of rioting, assaulting police officials and preventing government officials from discharging their duty, after violence erupted in Melaulim over the process of survey and demarcation of land allotted to the IIT authorities for setting up of the campus.
Villagers were cane-charged by the police after a government team of survey officials escorted by the police were pelted with stones by the protesters, hundreds of whom had blocked road access to Melaulim village.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has already stated that those who have attacked police officials will be punished.
"Those who have taken the law into their hands would be punished... The government will go ahead with the project," Sawant said, even as villagers of Melaulim have demanded the dismissal of police officials involved in the cane-charge, which they claimed was unprovoked.
Ever since an IIT was allotted to Goa by the Central government in 2014, the institute has been functioning from a temporary campus shared by the Goa Engineering College in Farmagudi village in South Goa.
Two sites previously identified by the state government, in Canacona and Sanguem sub-districts, for setting up a permanent campus for the IIT were dropped in the face of protests from local residents and after pressure from the Opposition, which had alleged a land scam in shortlisting of sites for the technology institute.
The villagers of Melaulim claim that they are being forcefully evicted from their landholdings by the government and have blamed the hurried land acquisition process adopted by the authorities for securing the land for the IIT campus project.