the goan I network
Tension flared up at the Bodgeshwar fair in Mapusa, when a group of Lamanis are reported to have assaulted a child welfare activist and a police constable on Friday evening.
Speaking to The Goan, Aishwarya Salgaonkar, the activist who claims to be associated with the Goa State Human Rights Commission, said she had gone to the Bodgeshwar fair at about 6 pm to check about vulnerable children and went to the police outpost in the area.
The Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (GSCPCR) on Wednesday had voiced concern about the vulnerable children at the fair, after the commission chairperson, Sushma Mandrekar, along with Child Welfare Committee member and Childline 1098 visited the Bodgeshwar fair site on Wednesday afternoon and had found around 50 vulnerable children loitering and selling articles, performing acrobats and also begging.
“Two male police constables accompanied me to the zatra and we rescued 4 minor boys, who had admitted that they had no parents,” said Salgaonkar.
As they were taking the boys, two of them managed to break free and give them a slip.
“At about 7.30 pm, one Police Constable accompanied me and two boys towards the Panaji-Mapusa highway, where we were to await a police jeep to take us to the police station.”
“As we were proceeding , about 70 Lamani parents confronted the police constable and me, with some claiming to be parents of the two boys,” said Salgaonkar.
“They manhandled me and grabbed the 2 boys. The police jeep came about an hour later. While the police constable and I were in the police jeep, the Lamani group did not allow the jeep to proceed. They assaulted the police constable and me,” said Salgaonkar.
She was later taken to the Asilo hospital for treatment.
When contacted, Mapusa PI Tushar Lotlikar sought to downplay the incident.
Denying that the police jeep was surrounded by people, PI Lotlokar, however, admitted that the parents may have got agitated with the PC and the activist while they were taking custody of the children.
When contacted, Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (GSCPCR) chairperson, Sushma Mandrekar said she was informed of the incident at the Bodgeshwar Zatra and was probing the matter.
MATTER OF CHILD RIGHTS
A child rights activist visited the Zatra on Wednesday to find around 50 vulnerable children loitering and selling articles, performing acrobats and also begging
Two male police constables accompanied her to the zatra and rescued 4 minor boys, who had admitted they were orphans
As they proceeded , about 70 Lamani parents confronted the police constable and the activist, with some claiming to be parents of the two boys
The activist claims that the parents then manhandled her and when they took custody of the kids in the police jeep the vehicle was soon surrounded by Lamanis