PANJIM: The Pissurlem farmer and activist against unsustainable mining, Hanumant Parab, who was allegedly assaulted by cops at the Valpoi Police Station said that till date there has been no action taken against them and that they continue to join duty and roam freely.
Today, Parab spoke of what actually happened on the evening of March 11, 2022. He said that several women and men from the village of Pissurlem were on a protest to save their land and livelihood. We could see how the corporates and higher-ups are destroying our fields and livelihood.
Here’s what happened those days in March; Hanumant speaks about the fateful scene.
“We were on a strike protesting the illegalities and to save our fields and livelihood but there the authorities couldn’t see our tears, instead backed by the higher-ups they made us cry,” Parab said, adding that he was supposed to meet the deputy collector and other authorities in a joint meeting to discuss the issue on the first day, but no one came that day.
CHECKING ON THE MINING TRUCKS
The following day, while they were on protest, Parab said he stopped a truck to check from which area the trucks were coming. On checking it was learnt that the trucks were coming from an area wherein there were no mines and that the area had cashew plantations and other agricultural land. This made Parab and other villagers raise their eyebrows.
Parab said he called the Director of Mines and sort his intervention and told him to send his team to check on this. He also suspected that ore was being illegally taken and transported and asked the Director whether the department had given any permission.
INSTEAD OF MINING OFFICIALS, THE PI ARRIVED
Next day the farmers and locals waited for almost half a day for the Mines Department officials to come to Pissurlem but instead the Valpoi PI arrived with a bus and some police staff. Parab said the PI told the striking villagers and farmers that the Deputy Collector would be coming to the spot and later also that the Mamlatdar would be coming. “But later, within no time the PI ordered his force to catch all those on strike and put them in the bus,” Parab said.
Further, Parab said that he told the PI that if he was picking them up then he should take all those who were peacefully sitting (nearly 52 men and women).
THE ASSAULT BY THE MEN IN KHAKI
Parab went on record stating that they took a few of the people to the Valpoi police station, only the men, and later they were made to sit at the police station, Parab said
Parab further said that they took him first inside and made him sit at the police station, where the DySP was already sitting. He added that the PI dragged and pulled him inside. Parab alleged that it was a planned act by the PI and DySP to assault him.
Parab claimed that he was put in the lockup and later, when he went to the washroom, he came out and requested to make a phone call to his wife to tell her that he had been arrested and was at the police station.
But soon the DySP Sagar Ekoskar came and landed blows on his face.
DYSP told PIs, “Why are you just looking, hit him’, says Hanumant Parab
Parab said he asked the DySP why he was hitting him, but it didn’t stop the DySP. Parab said that he was later thrown on the floor and was kicked and punched by Ekoskar and abused with foul language. “When the DySP saw that PI and other PSIs standing he told them ‘What are you guys looking at? Hit him’. Soon the PI along with other officers also assaulted me badly,” Parab added.
He said that he was beaten for nearly 25 minutes, his voice was heard outside by the villagers but not by the police officials. Parab said he was also not taken for medical examination even when he was bleeding.
Parab said that he has filed a complaint but the FIR has still not been lodged.
Almost nothing has been heard of the police inquiry against the cops which was ordered.
Recalling the incident, Parab said that he and several farmers and locals from Pissurlem were on a protest to save their land and livelihood.