Goa to propose 12 pc reservation for tribals

Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat has formally initiated a judicial probe into the recent killings of two tribals in Balli village while proposing 12 percent reservation for the community, a state spokesperson said.

Kamat told PTI today that he has cleared the file for the probe besides the state chief secretary writing to chief justice of Bombay High Court to appoint a judge to hold the enquiry as demanded by the agitating tribals.

Goa government had initially ordered a magisterial probe into the entire incident, which was rejected by the United Tribals Associations Alliance (UTAA) that spearheaded the protests seeking reservation in government jobs.

Charred bodies of two tribals, identified as Manguesh Gaonkar and Dilip Velip were found from a cashew factory in Balli village, about 60 kms south from the state capital, on May 25.

The UTAA had alleged that the duo was burnt alive by a mob with tacit support from the police to suppress the spiralling stir.

Kamat today said that `he cleared the file ordering a judicial probe on Monday itself and now it is up to the judicial commission to decide in how many days it finishes the probe`.

The state government which came under criticism for its handling of the entire issue today held a high-level meeting at the state secretariat to evolve a solution in the demands of tribals.

A state spokesperson stated that the government will send a high-level delegation to Delhi to propose 12 per cent reservation for the tribal community, which is so far unrepresented in the state.

The government also directed the social welfare department to simplify the procedure for issuing caste certificates to tribals, he said.

"There were complaints that issuing of certificates was a tedious process. The chief minister has directed that those certificates should be given in three days," the spokesperson said adding that a drive will soon be launched to clear the backlog of vacancies in government offices.

"The chief minister has asked to conduct a special drive for the next two months and to submit him the status report to fill the vacancies," he said.

Meanwhile, in an important decision the state government has banned selling of land by the Scheduled Tribe (ST) community members to their non-ST counterparts.

It was decided that even if there is a sale, the registering authorities will not approve the transfer, the sources said.

UTAA`s demand of 12 per cent allocation from the state budget to ST community was also approved during the meeting, they said.