The farmers staged a protest against the proposed Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus in Goa, claiming that the state government was buying land for it without their consent.
Following Monday’s farmers’ protest in the Sanguem area of South Goa district, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said some people used to oppose the projects unnecessarily.
Speaking to reporters in the state capital, Panaji, on Monday, Sawant said the land where the IIT was proposed belonged to the government and he would ensure that no one suffered injustice due to of the project. Farmers protested after a team of tax officials traveled to Sanguem to stake out land for the future IIT campus in Goa.
A team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Nilesh Rane attempted to calm the farmers down, but they continued the protest.
Farmers have been reluctant to donate their land for the project. “We are growing paddy where the government wants to acquire land for the IIT Goa campus. We don’t want IITs,” a female farmer told police.
She claimed the state government was acquiring land without the consent of farmers, who have farmed there for generations. Some of the other protesters said they would not allow the demarcation process to continue at the site.
Sanguem police have filed a complaint against the protesting farmers for obstructing land demarcation works, a senior police official said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sawant said some people used to oppose the plans unnecessarily.
“The land where the ITI is proposed belongs to the government. Some people just encroach on the earth,” he said, adding that people should avoid the negative mindset. “We will ensure that people do not suffer any injustice. If someone is a tenant or has a document proving his (land) ownership, he can submit it to the District Collector,” the Chief Minister said.
Sanguem BJP MP Subhash Phal Dessai said the IIT campus in Goa will help create job opportunities for the locals.