Much has been written and spoken about the agitations that were organized by different student bodies for the bus fare concession for Students in Goa, which took place in Goa in the mid 1970s. However, the first agitation that was organized 40 years back, on July 10, 1972, in the history of liberated Goa, has not found any mention anywhere. To set the record straight, it is necessary that this first revolt of the students(in the history of liberated Goa) for bus fare concession, needs to be narrated.
At a time when youth organizations in Goa were demanding bus fare concession for students by presenting petitions to different authorities, it was in the village of Sto. Estevam, that the youth under the leadership of Emidio Monteiro (then 17 years of age) were planning direct action, to demand bus fare concessions for students.
It was decided that students travelling to Panaji would participate in a rasta-roko agitation at Tonca, Khandola near Marcela by squatting on the road, on the morning of July 10, 1972. Accordingly, a large number of students under the leadership of Emidio Monteiro gathered at the designated place, and started the agitation. Late Joaquim Magalhaes, then a reporter at Goa Monitor and also a social activist, was also actively involved in the agitation, being a close associate of Monteiro.
Monteiro, along with many students was squatting on the road and blocking the buses, when suddenly a jeep with a police force arrived on the scene, which resulted in the youth making way except their leader, who continued squatting on the road. The police then picked up and arrested Emidio Monteiro and put him in the Jeep. When Joaquim Magalhaes questioned the Police, as a reporter of Goa Monitor, he too was arrested and the two were taken to Ponda Police Station, where Jadhav was the Police Officer on duty.
Soon after the two leaders were arrested, Jackson Dias, a popular social worker and Konkani Mando composer and singer, took over the leadership and proceeded with the students towards Ponda, demanding the release of Monteiro and Magalhaes. The morcha had crossed Banastarim, when the agitating group was given a letter written by Monteiro, that they should disperse, as they were released.
I vididly remember this agitation as I had just joined the government service, and had to walk to the office a very long distance, as there were no buses plying.
-r is an ex-government employee and former Deputy Sarpanch of Sto Estevam Village Panchayat.