Green activist Claude Alvares arrested for symbolic protest, released

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Panaji, July 2 (IANS) Green activist Claude Alvares, whose petition in the Supreme Court led to the shutdown of the mining industry in Goa earlier this year, was on Monday arrested along with an associate, for symbolically locking the offices of the state Mines and Geology Department here.

Alvares and his associate Rahul Basu, both of green NGO Goa Foundation, were technically arrested and released on a personal bond of Rs 10,000 each by officials of the Panaji police station.

“We symbolically locked the office of Mines and Geology Department and police symbolically arrested me,” Alvares told reporters here after he was released.

Alvares also said that the “technical” arrest was in sync with the order of the Panaji District and Sessions Court, which had granted the duo anticipatory bail last week.

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On May 12 this year, Alvares, who co-heads NGO Goa Foundation, had symbolically locked the office premise of the Goa Mines and Geology department in Panaji, accusing department officials of turning a blind eye to alleged theft of iron ore by mining companies, despite directions of the Supreme Court, which scrapped 88 mining leases in February this year.

The keys were later handed over to police officials at the Goa Police Headquarters, located nearby.

Following a petition by Alvares, ore extraction in all 88 operational mines in Goa was stopped by the apex court, bringing the multi-billion industry to a grinding halt from March this year.

–IANS

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