Panaji, Oct 3 (IANS) The Congress in Goa on Saturday burnt an effigy of Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar, protesting against the detention of nearly a dozen opposition party workers. The Congress workers were detained following their protest outside a city five-star resort demanding a meeting with Javadekar on Friday night.
The Congress workers, including Vice-President of the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) Sankalp Amonkar, were detained by the police in Panaji while they were protesting outside the resort where Javadekar was staying for the night.
The incident occurred just after midnight on Friday. Javadekar is in Goa to conduct meetings with farmers’ groups over the controversial farm laws which were passed by Parliament recently.
“Jungle raj in Goa — @INCGoa delegation led by Vice-President @SankalpAmonkar @JanaBhandariGoa @varadmardolkar @AdvArchitNaik @RautMeghashyam @SudinNaikGoa and 10 others arrested by @DGP_Goa for seeking appointment with @PrakashJavdekar and waiting to meet him in hotel lobby in Panaji,” Goa Congress Chief Girish Chodankar tweeted after the Congress leaders and workers were rounded up by the police and detained at the Panaji police station.
Speaking to reporters, as the opposition party workers were being taken away to the police station, Amonkar said the Congress delegation had arrived at the hotel to meet Javadekar and seek a formal appointment to discuss the Mhadei interstate river water-sharing issue.
“We are being arrested just because we want to seek an appointment with a Union Minister,” Amonkar added. The Congress had in the past accused Javadekar of being partial to Karnataka, one of the three states besides Goa and Maharashtra which are part of the Mhadei river water-sharing dispute.
On Saturday, party workers also burnt an effigy of Javadekar in Panaji. The police, however, said the Congress workers were arrested because they insisted on meeting Javadekar late at night. “It was a preventive arrest only to avoid a law and order situation from occurring,” a senior police official added.
The BJP in Goa has condemned the “unruly behaviour” by the Congress workers.
“The Congress leaders indulged in unruly behaviour. It was an act of goondagiri. We condemn this behaviour,” Goa Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Spokesperson Dattaprasad Naik told a press conference on Saturday.
“Prakash Javadekar is not here on a holiday. He is here on work, unlike Congress leaders like Rahul and Sonia Gandhi who constantly visit Goa on holidays. We have never protested or troubled their leaders outside hotels whenever they are on a holiday,” Naik said.