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Forty-five anti-mining protesters, arrested 13 days ago, were today released from jail after they signed bail papers following intervention by Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane. The agitators, 23 of them women, are residents of Sonshi village. They were formally released from Colvale Jail. They were given bail last week but refused to sign the papers necessary for their release unless their demand was met, leading to their continued incarceration.
The villagers were protesting against air pollution caused in Sonshi due to iron ore transportation. "I managed to convince them that their demand will be put before Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who would find a solution. Staying behind bars won't help in addressing the issues raised by them," Rane told PTI. The villagers were arrested 13 days back after they forcibly stopped trucks that were carrying iron ore through Sonshi, located 45km from here. The residents of the rural hamlet were agitated over the unbearable dust pollution caused by transportation of iron ore. The protest hit headlines after the villagers refused to sign bail papers, while their children walked to local police station demanding release of their parents. "All the protesters signed the bail papers and they were released this evening," Police Inspector Dipak Pednekar said. Parrikar had yesterday intervened in the matter and asked the mining firms to reduce pollution in the village.
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