PANAJI: An anti-mining activist lodged in Sada Sub-Jail in a related case was allegedly assaulted by unidentified persons, following which his colleague accused jail authorities, a mining firm and a BJP MLA of masterminding the assault.
The alleged incident occurred around 9 PM last night when Ravindra Velip, arrested last morning along with four others for participating in a anti-mining protest in Cauvrem village of South Goa, was getting ready to move out of the facility after securing bail.
Velip was in judicial custody in the sub-jail. "When I was about to be bailed out, suddenly someone from back blindfolded and gagged me and began hitting me. I was beaten up with boots and fists. I was lifted and thrown from a height due to which I had multiple fracture on my arms and severe pain in my neck," Velip said in a press conference today.
However, Velip has refused to lodge any complaint with police yet. He alleged the attack was aimed at "silencing" the voice of villagers who are objecting to "illegal transportation of ore from their village". Cauvrem villagers held a protest on the issue yesterday. Mormugao police station Inspector Kapil Naik has confirmed the attack. He told PTI that police have not received any formal complaint from Velip.
When contacted, jail authorities said that Velip has not filed any complaint in this regard. "Once he was out on bail, he went to Goa Medical College and got himself treated," a senior jail official said, adding that an inquiry cannot be initiated in absence of complaint.
Meanwhile, another anti-mining activist Ramesh Gawas alleged that "a mining firm, a ruling BJP legislator and jail authorities were behind the attack". Gawas, along with a group of villagers, today filed a complaint with state Chief secretary R K Srivastava against the jail authorities.
"The government should initiate proper inquiry into the incident. The safety of the inmates is at risk. Those guilty of the assault should be punished," Gawas said.