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Private Communidade not Governed by State
Leslie V Pereira | 12 Apr 2008

Gauncars First an NGO committed to protecting the rights of indigenous goans, has in a representation made to the Chief Secretary , Government of Goa, Mr.J.P. Singh, condemned the proposal put forward by the Porvorim Residents Welfare Association (PRWA) that had sought Municipality status for Porvorim.

Gauncars First (GF) claimed that the Government had no legal or constitutional authority to impose any laws or Acts enacted by the State on any Private Comunidade Village in Goa and hence the issue of bringing Porvorim under the Municipality Act did not arise.

A Representation was also dispatched to Mr. Juino D’Souza, Secretary of the PRWA and a ‘Gaunkar’ of Serula Comunidade, urging him not to pursue such acts of demanding State made organs as Municipality in Porvorim or in any Comunidade Village as it amounts ‘ to atrocities against the natives of Goa and their private laws which stand recognised by the State’. GF appealed to Mr.D’Souza to join the Gaunkary Movement and save native Goans from ethnocide. It is also, learnt that a mailing campaign has been launched by concerned Gaunkars and Goans pleading with the PRWA not to perpetrate atrocities against Comunidades and native Goans.

In another Petition, Gauncars First, had appealed to Goa Industrialist, Mr. Dattaraj Salgaocar of Salgaocar Group of Companies ‘not to perpetrate atrocities and crimes against the Gaunkars and Comunidades of Goa’. The Appeal came in the wake of reports that Salgaocar would be setting up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) or some such Industrial activity in Socorro, near Porvorim.

The NGO called upon Salgaocar ‘ to consider the plight of the natives of Goa who have been victimised by every successive State Government by illegally occupying and imposing State made laws and Bodies in Private Comunidade Villages in blatant violation of law’. GF asserted that there is no provision for anyone to set up any SEZ, IT Park etc, within the Comunidade Villages in Goa when these villages do not fall within the term ‘ Revenue Villages’ for any State made laws, acts or bodies to be applicable.

Commending the Salgaocar organisation for ‘ living up to the highest values of justice and fair play’ Gauncars First, hoped that Dattaraj Salgaocar would refrain from carrying out any ‘illegal activities in the Comunidades and would extend his protection to the Gaunkars and Comunidades of Goa’.

In a third Representation which has been submitted to the Chief Minister Mr.Digamber Kamat and Mr. Dayanand Narvekar MLA Aldona Constituency, the Porvorim based NGO pointed out that the Gaunkars of Goa ‘could not acknowledge the results of the recently concluded State elections’ as they were alleged to be ‘ fraudulently and unconstitutionally ‘ carried out in the State.

Gauncars First believed that for the elections to be legal, the State Government would have had to establish ‘State Landlordism’ in the locality of the Villages covered by such elections. In the absence of this, the State has no constituted ‘Revenue Villages’ and hence no elections can be legally held in these areas. According to GF, there are about 222 villages which fall in the category of ‘Private Comunidade (Community) Villages, co-owned by the respective ‘Gaunkars’ where State Government Landlordism is totally absent.

These ‘private’ village land cover over 70% of the land mass in Goa and our governed by Private Comunidade Laws codified in Portuguese language as Codigo das Comunidades ( Code of Comunidades) 1961, which has the force of Law in the State of Goa.

The NGO warns potential real estate investors that only land dealings done in accordance with the purview of the Private Comunidade Laws ( and not under the State Government’s Land Survey Records / Revenue Code) within the Private Comunidade Villages of Goa, are legal and binding.