Goa Forward party has postponed its protest against nationalisation of rivers in the state to October 22 in view of tight security arrangements made for BRICS summit beginning October 15 in South Goa. The party had planned to hold a rally on the banks of Sal river at Assolna on October 15. "The protests are rescheduled. Now they will be held on October 22.
We had to cancel them due to upcoming BRICS summit which will be held near Assolna," party spokesman Durgadas Kamat told reporters today. Goa Forward has alleged that nationalisation of rivers in the coastal state was being done with a "dubious intention of converting rivers into highways exclusively for shipping of coal". Kamat alleged that police and paramilitary forces are taking advantage of the summit to spread fear amongst locals and are using their muscle power "to curb free movement". "Police have forcefully removed banners and publicity materials put up by people to mobilise support for protests. Local politicians who have lost confidence of people are spreading rumors of arrest and detention of protesters during the summit," he added. Goa Forward state executive member Frank Viegas said his party was receiving overwhelming support for its cause from people of Velim constituency and that the scheduled protest is postponed to respect sentiments of people. "We don't want to put our people into any problems as a large section of population from these areas works overseas and could be victimised by police through false cases," he said. Chief coordinator of protests in Velim constituency, Rony Cardoso criticised state government for banning fishing activity in run-up to BRICS summit and wondered how they could be a threat to security.
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