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Cong MLA, supporters held for obstructing rail traffic

By Staff
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Panaji, Apr 18 (UNI) Congress MLA from Pernem Jeetendra Deshprabhu and as many as 300 of his supporters were arrested for obstructing rail traffic at Pernem railway station in North Goa today.

Mr Deshprabhu and his supporters had staged a 'rail roko' at Pernem railway station to demand the starting of work on the proposed international Mopa airport project.

They also demanded an assurance from state Chief Minister Pratapsinh Rane that work on Mopa airport would be started.

''All the arrested persons have been taken to the police station and rail traffic has been restored,'' Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Ujjwal Mishra said.

Sources said because of the agitation, the rail traffic on the route via Pernem was affected for about six hours and the movement of some Konkan railway goods trains was disrupted as the protestors sat on the tracks.

A total bandh is being observed in Pernem taluka in support of a call given by All Party Mopa Niradhar Samiti. The agitators resorted to 'rail roko' and also blocked roads to put forth their demand.

They blocked the roads and three main bridges -- Siolim-Chopdem, Colvale Dhargal and Pilna-Vajri -- on the national highway connecting Maharashtra.

Even locals from Pernam supported the protest by downing shutters of their shops.

Private buses too stayed off roads.

Meanwhile, Mr Mishra said the buses coming to Goa from Maharashtra were diverted through Dodamarg.

He also said the situation in Pernem was under control.

UNI SRN KU/ PA HT1455

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