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45 Sonshi villagers jailed for anti-mining protest released from jail

Sonshi villagers were jailed for blocking mining trucks from plying and spent 10 days in jail. Although the bail was granted, the villagers choose to spend time in the lock up until their demands were met. Late in the evening yesterday, they signed the bond papers after Goa’s health minister Vishwajeet Rane intervened in the matter.

Sonshi villagers were protesting the dust pollution caused by the mining trucks that ply in the village. It is estimated that around 900 ore transporting trucks make 4000 trips in a single day. This causes high levels of dust pollution in the village.

Around 10 days ago the villagers blocked the ore transporting trucks. For this, they were arrested and locked up at the central jail in Colvale. They were granted bail but refused to pay the bail amount of Rs. 10,000. Children of the jailed villagers protested outside the Valpoi police station, demanding the release of their parents.

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After that mining firm Vedanta had offered to pay the personal bond on behalf of the villagers. The villagers refused to sign the bail bond unless their demands were met. Some activists showcased their solidarity with the jailed villagers and protested outside the Valpoi police station.

Rane had stated yesterday that he would intervene in the matter and even offered to personally pay the bail bond on behalf of the villagers if needed. “I managed to convince them that their demand will be put before Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who would find a solution. Staying behind bars won’t help in addressing the issues raised by them,” Rane told PTI.

“All the protesters signed the bail papers and they were released this evening,” Police Inspector Dipak Pednekar said in a PTI report.

(Image credits: Hindustan Times)

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