Panaji, October 3
The Congress in Goa on Saturday burnt an effigy of Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar while protesting against the detention of nearly a dozen opposition party workers.
The Congress workers were detained following their protest outside a city five-star resort demanding a meeting with Javadekar on Friday night.
The workers, including the Vice President of the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC), Sankalp Amonkar, were detained by the police in Panaji while they were protesting outside the resort where Javadekar was staying for the night. The incident occurred just after midnight on Friday.
Javadekar is in Goa to conduct meetings with farmers’ groups over the controversial farm Bills which were passed by the Parliament recently.
“Jungle raj in Goa — @INCGoa delegation led by Vice-President @SankalpAmonkar @JanaBhandariGoa @varadmardolkar @AdvArchitNaik @RautMeghashyam @SudinNaikGoa and 10 others arrested by @DGP_Goa for seeking appointment with @PrakashJavdekar and waiting to meet him in hotel lobby in Panaji,” Goa Congress chief Girish Chodankar tweeted.
Speaking to reporters, even as the opposition party workers were being taken away to the police station, Amonkar said the Congress delegation had arrived at the hotel to meet Javadekar and seek a formal appointment to discuss the Mhadei interstate river water-sharing issue.
“We are being arrested just because we want to seek an appointment with a Union Minister,” Amonkar added.
The Congress had in the past accused Javadekar of being partial to Karnataka, one of the three states besides Goa and Maharashtra which are part of the Mhadei river water-sharing dispute.
On Saturday, the party workers burnt an effigy of Javadekar in Panaji.
The police, however, said the Congress workers were arrested because they insisted on meeting Javadekar late at night.
“It was a preventive arrest only to avoid a law and order situation,” a senior police officer said.
Meanwhile, Javadekar met two groups of farmers in Mayem village and Mapusa town in North Goa, during which the Union Minister explained the importance of the three farm Bills, which he said would give greater freedom to farmers vis-a-vis selling their produce for a better price.
Javadekar’s entourage was also shown black flags by a group of around 50 farmers near Mapusa. IANS