Panaji(Goa): The Goa Police on Monday resorted to lathicharge to disperse protesting mining workers in Panaji to clear the road for traffic on Monday.
The mine workers had blocked the road in the capital Panaji, which had paralysed the traffic movement from North to South of the city since 11 am.
Traffic on NH-17 (66) was hit at Porvorim as hundreds of protesters blocked the vehicular movement on both the bridges across River Mandovi.
Transport Minister Sudin Dhavalikar went to the Mandovi Bridge, where the mining agitators had laid the siege and tried to persuade them to remove their blockade.
“The government is with you all. We know your problems. I appeal you all to move from here and go to Azad Maidan,” said Dhavalikar.
The protestors refused to vacate the protest site-Kranti circle near KTC Bus stand which left hundreds of commuters, including students, stranded for hours.
Many of the students were on their way to give their exams, including 12th boards.
Sidharth Kuncalienker and Dattaprasad Naik from the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) reached out to the stranded passengers and students at the Integrated School Complex at Cujira, who were affected due to the road closure.
The protesters were demanding the opening of mining operations which have been shut down completely since March 15 as per the Supreme Court order which termed the renewal of 88 leases as illegal.
On March 18, section 144 was imposed in the wake of agitation call by All Goa Truck Owners, Driver Association, Mining dependents and Barge owners.
Earlier in October 2012, the apex court had suspended all iron ore mining and transportation in the state, following a report submitted by Justice M.B. Shah Commission, which found that millions of tonnes of iron ore were illegally mined by a dozen mining companies.(ANI)