In July 2020, the Goa Cabinet cleared a proposal to allocate 10 lakh square metres of land in and around Melauli village under Guleli panchayat in north Goa for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Village residents have used this land for generations to cultivate cashews, which is one of their main sources of income. In November, the residents started protesting against the move. According to them, the opposition is not just to save their cashew plantations but also to preserve the biodiversity of the region. The Western Ghats, which stretches to areas that are included in the proposed site of the IIT campus, is a natural biosphere containing a very dense forest cover and endangered species of fauna. In the most recent protests held in January 2021, a land demarcation attempt by Land Survey officials at the IIT project site in Melaulim was disrupted by protesting villagers. They pelted stones at the police, who resorted to lathicharge. At least 12 police personnel were injured in the clash. This is the third time people have opposed the setting up of an IIT campus in the state. The project was earlier moved out of Loliem and Cortali villages in south Goa following public protests. Damodar D. Naik, general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Partys Goa unit, was quoted in a news report as saying: Somebody has taken the initiative to make the land fertile for these long years, and for that they deserve compensation, but quality education is also necessary for our nation. Accordingly, someone has to make a sacrifice. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was confronted by villagers when he visited the project site. He estimated that some 500-1,000 people would get jobs with the new institute being set up and remained firm in his decision to go ahead with the project.
Demand/Contention of the Affected Community
Opposition against environmental degradation, Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources, Refusal to give up land for the project
Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:
Directorate of Settlement and Land Records, Government of Goa
Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Legislations Involved in the Conflict:
Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:
Out of Court
Name(s) of Court(s)
Nature of Protest
Armed protests , Protests/marches
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Lathi charge/tear gas/pellets, Physical attack
Reported Details of the Violation:
Protesters hurled stones, and the police responded with lathicharge. At least 12 police personnel were injured. Some women protesters claimed that an inspector had stamped upon the chest of an elderly woman during the clash.
Date of Violation
January 5, 2021
Location of Violation
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?