Panaji: The Goa Alliance Against CAA-NRC-NPR on Saturday condemned the State’s suppression of freedom of speech and expression by revoking permission to Sahayog who had scheduled to hold an anti-CAA meeting in Mapusa on January 18.
“The Goa Alliance Against CAA-NRC-NPR condemns the State suppression of freedom of speech and expression through revoking of permission to Sahayog, which had organised a protest meeting against the CAA-NRC-NPR in Mapusa on January 18,” said GACNN.
“In doing so, the State has deliberately abdicated its responsibility to ensure that fundamental rights of all citizens are duly protected and has succumbed to or is in collaboration with, the terrorising and intimidating tactics of front organisations and associates of the ruling party alliance,” said GACNN.
In a reply sent to Sahayog convenor Firoz Khan, Mapusa Municipal Council (MMC) chief officer Clenn Madeira stated that the permission granted to them to hold the protest meet on Saturday had been revoked in view of apprehension of breach of peace and law and order problem.
The GACNN pointed out that the action of the State is a further indicator of the fact that the government has no respect for citizens’ rights to assemble peacefully to protest, to freedom of speech and expression, or any other rights for that matter.
The GACNN has further demanded an inquiry into the action of the chief officer, which, it has said is done at the behest of and with the might of the ruling power in the State, acting on a complaint that has no substance and is hinged on vague, flimsy and ambiguous general allegations.
Members of the Swarajya Gomantak Desh Prem Nagrik had told the MMC that if the anti- CAA rally was allowed to be held in Mapusa they would organise a protest march against at the same time, which could further lead to a law and order situation in Mapusa and the concerned authority will be solely responsible for it.
"We have seen that the protests that are being organised against CAA witness the participation of anti-national elements. They indulge in violent activities when they protest by burning public property and shouting anti-national slogans,” said one of the members of the organisation.
MMC councillor Rajsingh Rane pointed out that it was a good decision by the chief officer to revoke the permission granted to have a peaceful anti-CAA meeting at Mapusa taxi stand on Saturday.
“Another group also threatened to stage a rally at the same time and place which could lead to a law and order situation in the city. The MMC revoked the permission after receiving an objection from Swarajya Gomantak Desh Prem Nagrik on Friday. The group Sahayog never mentioned what they actually wanted to do. In the past they have had rallies where their slogans were disturbing and could lead to a law and order situation,” said Rane.