PONDA: United Tribal Association Alliance (UTAA) President Prakash Velip said that UTTA will appeal to the Government to withdraw police cases filed against Melauli villagers.

Speaking to reporters at Ponda, Velip said when Melauli agitation against the proposed IIT project stated, UTTA had met agitators and taken cognizance of their problem. He said tribals in Goa are fighting for their land rights and UTTA is committed to give justice to them and claimed that tribal communities are the original settlers of Goa.

Velip said in democracy the citizens has right to fight for their rightful demand. With regard reservation for seats for students belonging to ST, SC, and OBC communities for Post-Graduation at Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMC), Bambolim, he said some students from other communities have challenged this reservation before the court..

The former Minister pointed out that the Goa government had granted 10 per cent reservation for economically backward students and that nobody had objected to it. He appealed to all to co-operate for development of ST, SC and OBC communities.

Meanwhile, Velip has been re-elected as president of UTTA and the new committee headed by him will be installed at a function to be held at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao on 5th February at 3 pm. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant,  UTAA convenor as well as Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude will be present at the occasion.

Velip said UTTA will organise seminars and talks with resource persons who will deliver talks on rights of tribal people and forest right etc.

Velip also disclosed that a survey of tribal communities of Goa will be conducted and urged ST communities to registrar themselves without fail as it is the criteria on which they will get benefits of government schemes, reservation etc.