NGO for probe into 'assault' on tribal activist in Goa

Panaji:  The opposition, as well as green groups in Goa, on Friday rallied behind anti-illegal mining activist Ravindra Velip who was allegedly assaulted in judicial custody, even as a BJP legislator denied any involvement in the attack. On Friday, non-governmental organisation Goa Foundation, whose petition in the Supreme Court resulted in a two-and-a-half-year ban on mining in the state, demanded a probe by the Inspector General of Prisons on wednesday's assault and urged for a probe by the Human Rights Commission. "The Goa Foundation denounces the attack within the jail premises on Ravindra Velip, who hails from the tribal community, and demand an inquiry from the IGP Prisons as to how unauthorised people could have entered the premises, blindfolded Velip and beat him up mercilessly," Claude Alvares, who heads the Foundation, told reporters here. Velip, a resident of Cavrem-Pirla village, was arrested on March 22 under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly) and 341 (wrongful restraint) for blocking transportation of iron ore e-auctioned by the state government to a private trading company some months back.  The activist claims that he along with his associates was arrested after they questioned the veracity of the iron ore consigment passing through his village. On Wednesday, Velip suffered multiple fractures and internal injuries after he was assaulted by unknown persons in the Sada sub-jail. The Congress has demanded a judicial inquiry into the assault, while local Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Subhash Phaldesai from Sanguem consituency denied involvement in the incident. "I myself want this attack probed. The demands made by Velip and others must be looked into by the government," Phaldesai told reporters.