Section 144 imposed at proposed site of IIT Goa following protest

Section 144 imposed at proposed site of IIT Goa following protest

Orders restricting the gathering of people were imposed at a proposed site of IIT Goa in Sanguem taluka on Tuesday following a protest by local farmers against the acquisition of land for the project.

South Goa District Collector Jyoti Kumari issued orders imposing Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

The orders prohibited the gathering of five or more people within 200 meters from the demarcated site in Cotarli village panchayat with the intention to disrupt or delay the process of survey and demarcation of the proposed IIT site.

On Monday, some local farmers had not allowed the demarcation of boundaries for the project, saying they will not allow their fertile land to be acquired for a campus of the Indian Institute of Technology.

Police had filed cases against a group of farmers for allegedly obstructing government servants from discharging their duties. As soon as the Government announced setting up of IIT-Goa at Sanguem, some farmers and villagers of Sanguem locality got together and formed a group and started agitation against the setting up of IIT project at village Cotarli stating that they will be deprived of their agricultural land and the natural flora and fauna of the village will be destroyed," the Collector's order on Tuesday said.

As per the Superintendent of Police (South Goa), minister and local MLA Subhash Phal Dessai had assured the farmers that they will be duly compensated, the collectors order noted.

Still, the agitating groups were inciting the locals by "uploading unwarranted bites on social media and organizing corner meetings" and "instigating the locals to take law in their hand and to revolt against the government project," it claimed. Talking to reporters on Monday, Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant had said the land where the IIT is proposed to come up belongs to the government, and the administration will ensure no one faces injustice due to the project.

Farmers protested on Monday after a team of state revenue officials went to Sanguem to demarcate land. We have been cultivating paddy at this place. We don't want an IIT, a woman farmer told police.