45 villagers of Sonshi who were in judicial custody for blocking ore transportation were freed late Thursday night from Colvale Jail nearly 10 days after their arrest. Speaker Pramod Sawant and Health Minister Vishwajit Rane intervened in the matter and negotiated with the villagers .
Health Minister Vishwajit Rane had held a joint meeting of Sonshi villagers yesterday and offered to pay the bond to release the villagers who have been arrested. Advocate representing Sonshi villagers was also present at the meeting. Prior to this meeting the Sonshi villagers had met the arrested villagers at Colvale jail.
The Sonshi villagers had formed a human chain and stopped the movement of iron ore mining trucks through Sonshi. The villagers have been demanding an end to plying of mining trucks through their village road, cleaner air, water, and basic healthcare. All 45 villagers had got bail, but were stuck in jail for ten days because each needed to furnish a bond of Rs 10,000, and none of the families has the money.
Moreover the villagers had refused to pay the bond as they felt that they had not done any crime and were just asking for their due rights as citizens.