Goa scribes protest burning of news clippings on mining

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 11, 2012 11:20 hrs

Panaji, Dec 11 (IANS) Journalists in Goa have denounced the burning of newspaper clippings by a group representing people who have been affected by ban on mining for reporting the findings of a Supreme Court appointed committee on illegal mining in the state.

Goa Union of Journalists (GUJ) president Pandurang Gaonkar condemned the action of the Goa People's Mining Front (GPMF) Saturday when its members used a major Church feast in Panaji as a background to burn newspaper clippings on the committee's findings. The committee has indicted the mining industry in Goa for illegal excavation and export of iron ore.

"It is condemnable. We are only reporting findings of a report from the central empowered committee (CEC), which is appointed by the Supreme Court," Gaonkar said Monday.

Speaking to IANS, GPMF president Christopher Fonseca said the news clippings contained "anti-people" findings of the CEC.

"We had no choice but to symbolically burn the recommendations of the committee (CEC). The report is nothing but anti-Goa and anti-economy. The future of two lakh people in Goa is dependent on mining. They depend on the industry for survival. Banning mining will drive them to misery," Fonseca said.

After two months of being assigned the task, the CEC last week submitted its interim report on illegal mining in Goa to the Supreme Court.

In its report, it has recommended immediate banning of 42 mines in Goa, citing gross illegalities. The committee has also advocated an overhaul of the regulatory mechanism in Goa to monitor mining activity.

Earlier this year, a judicial commission headed by Justice M.B. Shah had submitted a report on Goa illegal mining to parliament, in which he had alleged a Rs.35,000 crore scam.

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