Rumdamol-Davorlim village panchayat in Margao has refused to grant a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to an association to put up posters of Shivaji Maharaj, (The Legendary Maratha King). Giving reason behind its action the Panchayat cited an earlier resolution by them not to allow “putting up of banners of kings and maharajas” within its jurisdiction. The situation in the area had turned tense when two groups clashed over the putting up of banners of Tipu Sultan.
November 18, 2016: Rumdamol tension
A poster carrying the image of Tipu Sultan had been put up in the Housing board area in Gogol (which falls under the panchayat’s jurisdiction) announcing an event at the Rumdamol ground on the following Sunday.
A group of citizens approached the Sarpanch Mustaq Shaikh complaining about Tipu’s poster. The Sarpanch told a local media that after he was approached he had told the people who put up the poster to take it down. The group assured him that they would take the poster down by 10 AM the next day.
Shaikh added that since the group had applied for permission to put up the poster on the same evening, it could not be considered since the waiting period was 7 days, hence the group was asked to take the poster down.
However, the brokered truce did not last for very long as there were clashes between the two opposing groups. The incident was deemed to be communal in nature (by the local media) as Tipu’s posters were put up by the minority community. Three two-wheelers were set ablaze during the clash.
A police team arrived at the site in riot gear to control the situation. The team was led by Maina-Curtorim PI Harish Madkaikar. After that changes were made to the procedure of putting up posters and their duration.
“The panchayat has resolved to charge a fee of Rs 200 per banner, as well as a deposit of Rs 300 per banner, with the permission for erecting a banner being granted for only three days. After the third day, the party will have to remove the banner or else, they will have to forfeit their deposit, and the panchayat will remove the banner. We are firm that we will take action on anyone putting up banners without paying these fees to the panchayat,” said Shaikh in a ToI report in December.
At the same meeting, it was resolved that no other activity would be allowed on the playground other than sports as other activities tend to damage the ground.
Shiv Samaj association approached the panchayat for permission to put up banners celebrating the birth anniversary of Shivaji on February 18. Reply to the application in a letter issued by the panchayat on February 15 read, “With reference to your letter dated February 13, this is to inform you that this panchayat has taken a decision not to issue any NOC to put up banners of kings and maharajas in its jurisdiction of Rumdamol-Davorlim as per resolution.” (Source: IANS report)
“We have decided to go in for an appeal against the decision of the panchayat. It is ridiculous that fans of Shivaji Maharaj are not allowed to put up banners celebrating his birth anniversary,” Mahadev Virdikar, a member of the Shiv Samaj, told IANS on Thursday.
The panchayat officials decided to adhere to the resolution passed by them in the month of November last year after the law and order situation that took place there.