Panaji, Sep 25: Less than 48 hours after Congress spokesman filed a police complaint accusing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and senior mines department officials of abetting the suicide of an official, the party Tuesday distanced itself from the complainant.
Speaking to reporters, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Subhash Shirodkar said the party had nothing to do with with party spokesman Sudip Tamhankar’s complaint against Parrikar, Mines Secretary R.Verma and director, mining and geology, Prasanna Acharya.
“He may have done it in personal capacity,” Shirodkar said.
Asked if the party had anything to do with the complaint against Parrikar, Shirodkar shot back: “I am speaking in pure Konkani. The complaint must be filed in his personal capacity.”
Shirodkar said that while illegal mining in Goa had to be halted, the government had to ensure that legal mining resumed because people from six out of Goa’s 12 talukas (sub-districts) depended on it.
“Legal mining should resume from November or October. It cannot be made to stop,” Shirodkar said.
Tamhankar, however, said that following his complaint a deputy collector, who has been appointed by the administration to probe D.Bhave’s death, had recorded his statement.
Bhave, an assistant officer in the mines and geology department and one of the six officials suspended for allegedly being a part of the illegal mining racket, killed himself last Friday.
“I stand by my complaint. Police should register it. The government is only harassing the smaller fish. The people responsible for illegal mining, like the companies, are not being taken to task,” Tamhankar said.
“An independent probe headed by an ex-judge should be appointed to investigate illegal mining by these mining companies and fix blame,” he said.