Farmers staged a protest against the proposed Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus in Goa, claiming the state government was acquiring land for it without their consent.
After the farmers’ protest on Monday in the Sanguem area of South Goa district, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said some people had the habit of unnecessarily opposing projects.
Talking to reporters in the state capital Panaji on Monday, Sawant said the land where the IIT was proposed belonged to the government and they will ensure no one faces injustice due to the project. Farmers protested after a team of state revenue officials went to Sanguem to demarcate land for the upcoming IIT Goa campus.
A team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Nilesh Rane tried to pacify the farmers, but they went ahead with the protest.
The farmers have been reluctant to give their land for the project. “We have been cultivating paddy at the place where the government wants to acquire land for the IIT Goa campus. We don’t want IIT,” a woman farmer told police.
She claimed the state government was acquiring land without the consent of the farmers, who have been growing crops on it for generations. Some of the other protesters said they will not allow the demarcation process to continue at the site.
The Sanguem police have registered a case against the protesting farmers for obstructing the land demarcation work, a senior police official said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sawant said some people had the habit of unnecessarily opposing projects.
“The land where the IIT is proposed belongs to the government. Some people are just encroaching the land,” he said adding that people should shun the negative mindset. “We will ensure people do not face any injustice. If someone is a tenant or has a document to prove his/her (land) ownership, they can submit it to the district collector,” the chief minister said.
Sanguem BJP MLA Subhash Phal Dessai said the IIT campus in Goa will help in creating employment opportunities for locals.