A number of residents along with anti-coal activists and leaders on Friday issued a final warning to Railway officials warning of violent protests, after accusing the Railways of forcibly damaging fences of private properties to bring in heavy machinery for work on the double tracking project.
The villagers also alleged that the Railways has now begun entering houses of people under police protection for demarcation after claiming private properties and houses as Railway properties.
The Velsao villagers put up a united front on Friday morning to show solidarity with the landlord and waited anxiously to meet RVNL officials who had on Thursday assured villagers that they would come with their property papers while requesting the landlord to get their property papers.
Railway officials, however, gave the villagers yet another slip and only one Railways employee arrived but failed to speak to the locals and have a look at property papers of the local landlord, further angering the villagers.
“Enough is enough, we have had too much of the hide-and-seek game. The Railways have removed our boundary poles and besides encroaching private lands, they have now started to enter houses for demarcation,” said former Velsao Panch Camilo Souza.
“We will now go across all villages of Velsao, Cansaulim and Pale and bring the entire village on the tracks and fight the Police and Railway authorities and if required, even take law in our own hands on a massive scale.”
“It’s time to do or die because our patience is finally over and we don't mind dying to save our villages, instead of saying due to pollution."
Goencho Ekvott leader Orville Dourado said they could not keep the people under control any further.
"We had arrived on Thursday evening after the Railways damaged the fences of a landlord to give access to their machinery under police protection. Railway officials assured to meet us today morning with their documents but no one has come and they have send one small-time employee,” said Dourado.
“The Railways must show its land title documents to prove its claim because we have clear documents since Portugese-era issued by revenue department to support our claim.”
“We don't want any law and order situation but authorities are forcing us to come on the roads and people are agitated. We don't know what will happen and we will not be able to control the villagers any further because the Railways have trespassed in private properties and now, they have started to go into the houses of the people, besides filling our drainage systems and Nullahs that empties into tributaries of River Sal.”
Dourado said the villagers have taken a firm decision that they would not step back come what may.
“The Railways must retract before the entire village starts to confront them for their rights. We request the Railways to stay away from private lands because they will understand later when the villagers come out in full force to protect their village from destruction. The dadagiri must stop before it is too late,” Dourado added.
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