Pramod Sawant.. Image Source: IANS News

Panaji, July 10 : Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said that the Goa Police department had been asked to probe the detention of three persons, mid-way through a press conference on July 8.

"I have asked the department to enquire. I will look into it," Sawant told reporters at the State Secretariat on Friday.

On Wednesday, three villagers from Melaulim village, located in the Sattari sub district, namely Shubham Shivolkar, Pandurang Shivolkar and Ram Melekar were arrested for violation of prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, in course of their press conference. They were taken to the local police station and later released on a bond by the North Goa district police.

The villagers had organised the press conference to express their views vis-a-vis the upcoming construction of the Indian Institute of Technology - Goa in Melaulim and adjoining areas, due to which they were expected to lose their land holdings and raise issue about the hurried land acquisition processes.

The Opposition has slammed Sawant over the incident, accusing him of running Goa through "police rule" and have demanded the roll back of Section 144 CrPC, which has been in place ever since the Covid-19 pandemic related lockdown was announced in March.

Ever since an IIT was allotted to Goa by the central government in 2014, the institute has been functioning from a temporary campus shared by the Goa Engineering College in Farmagudi village in South Goa.

Two sites previously identified by the state government, in Canacona and Sanguem sub districts, for setting up a permanent campus for the IIT were dropped in the face of protests from local residents and after pressure from the Opposition, which had alleged a land scam in shortlisting of sites for the technology institute.

-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text

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