Panaji, March 15: Police have not made arrests in Goa’s multi-billion rupee illegal mining scam because they are busy crunching data for a judicial probe, according to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
Parrikar, who was addressing students at a Bharatiya Janata Party convention in the city Friday, also said that local police officers in Goa cannot be trusted to investigate the scandal because they are afraid to take on the mining mafia.
“The department is busy data crunching for the court,” Parrikar said, when a student asked him why the BJP-led coalition government had been unable to arrest those responsible for the Rs.35,000 crore illegal mining scam in Goa.
Parrikar, who is being accused by the media as well as the opposition of trying to shield mining barons and politicians, also blamed the central government for not providing the state with good Indian Police Service (IPS) officers.
“The Goa Police (officers) are scared,” Parrikar said, adding that with a new batch of IPS officers landing in the state in recent times, the illegal mining probe will pick up steam.
The chief minister also hinted that the first arrests in the mining scandal could happen in a couple of months.
A judicial commission has unearthed the scandal in Goa and has accused a bureaucrat-politician-mining magnates nexus for it.
Mining has been banned in Goa by the Supreme Court of India which is currently hearing a petition seeking a probe into the scandal.