No evidence on Balli carnage: Report

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 30, 2012 10:13 hrs

Panaji, Mar 30 (IBNS) The Goa government will study the Justice S K Shah committee report, which has sealed indictment on the fatal Balli carnage in May 2010 despite failing to get evidences on the deaths of two tribal leaders.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, speaking to media said he will receive the report within seven days.

The report was submitted to the government earlier this week.

Justice Shah, a retired Judge of Bombay High Court, who was appointed for conducting judicial inquiry, found that there was serious lapse on the part of the then South Goa collector G P Naik and South Superintendent of Police Tony Fernandes in handling the agitation.

"The unnecessary lathi-charge made the crowd violent," the report findings, submitted to the government said.

The Commission of Inquiry has also come down heavily on the United Tribal Association Alliance (UTAA) leaders for failing to control the crowd during protests on the streets of the village.

The May 25, 2011 violence had claimed lives of two tribal leaders - Dilip Velip and Manguesh Gaonkar, and caused heavy loss to government as well as private property.

The terms of reference before the Commission of Inquiry was whether there were any lapses on the part of district law and order machinery to keep situation under control during the course of agitation, and whether they failed to act effectively to prevent the violence.

In yet another set back, the panel failed to get evidences to ascertain who had actually set on fire Adarsh Society and Achal Bhavan, which caused deaths of two tribals.

The panel examined as many as 41 witnesses including top UTAA leaders, police officers and administrative officers.

The magisterial inquiry report, last year had also held Goa police responsible for playing mute spectators when the two tribal leaders were killed.

Police have filed six cases related to the violence including five registered at Cuncolim police station and one at Konkan Railway police. The cases were handed over to the Crime Branch for a fair probe. One case has been chargesheeted so far.

The agitation comprising of more than 6000 tribals was carried out under the banner of UTAA, which turned violent when local groups beat up the tribals, allegedly in presence of police.

The lathi charge also aggravated the situation. Seventeen policemen were injured in stone-pelting.

(Reporting by John Edwards)

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