BELAGAVI/BENGALURU:The Goa government’s move to vacate Kannadiga families living on Baina beach has caused uproar in the border districts. Kannada activists in Belagavi and Karwar have condemned the untimely move by Goa where 55 houses were demolished on Tuesday.
About 200 families of labourers, mostly belonging to Bagalkot and Vijayapura, face an uncertain future. Kannada organisations in Goa are trying to provide food and temporary shelters to those who have lost homes. As it is raining in Goa for the last two days, the troubles for the Kannadiga families have worsened.
On Wednesday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah wrote to Manohar Parrikar, his Goan counterpart to stop the eviction of Kannadigas at Baina beach and rehabilitate them at the earliest. Expressing his shock over the media reports of eviction of the 55 families, he said that most of these people being construction workers deserve humanitarian consideration. “They are living in Goa since several years and have been given EPIC card and ration card. Most of them are construction labourers and deserve humanitarian consideration.”
Pointing out to the earlier communications to the Goa government in this connection, Siddaramaiah said that his cabinet colleague R V Deshpande had written to him in this regard on April 16, 2015. “Later on, it was followed by three letters by the Chief Secretary on May 8, 2015, June 9, 2016 and again on January 12 , 2017 by the Chief Secretary requesting to rehabilitate these people. But so far, there is no update on this,” he said. He requested the Goan government to consider his request.
Industries minister R V Deshpande too vehemently condemned the action of Goa government. He has called the action inhuman and demanded immediate steps to rehabilitate the poor evacuees and also pay them suitable compensation. “From many decades Kannadigas who went Goa in search of jobs settled there. The Goa government has been demolishing their houses saying they were constructed illegally on government land or constructed in private land. After the demolition drive, Goa government has not taken any steps to provide shelter to them,” he added.
Kannada organisations too have come down heavily on the Goa government. “Kannadigas who are living in Goa are the main workforce in Goa. They are living in Goa for more than four decades. How can the government lose humanity and deny shelter for the urban poor? There are many such labour families who have come from Maharashtra and other states and living in Goa. Why are only Kannadigas are being targeted,” asked Ashok Chandaragi from Belagavi.