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Kamat insists CBI was asked to handle Goa drug probe

Posted by on February 16, 2011 0 Comment

Panaji, Feb 16 (IANS) Chief Minister Digambar Kamat Wednesday insisted he had asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over the police-politician-drug mafia nexus probe, two days after the agency said it had received no such communication from the Goa government.

Kamat insisted that the chief secretary had written to the union ministry for personnel asking the CBI to take over the probe into the drug nexus, allegedly involving Home Minister Ravi Naik’s son along with several top police officials.

“We have written to the union ministry for personnel and not to the CBI directly. Maybe they (CBI officials) have not been told yet. We cannot write to the CBI directly,” Kamat told reporters here.

He said the home minister had even tabled a letter written by the Goa government to the union ministry during the last session of the Goa assembly, which concluded earlier this month.

CBI functions under the aegis of the union personnel ministry.

The drug nexus probe involving two Israeli drug dealers, which has seen the suspension, arrest and subsequent release of all police officials and drug dealers on bail, has caught the imagination of the state, especially with the opposition and the Israeli media claiming that Naik’s son, Roy, was linked to the nexus.

The opposition has also staged walkouts from the assembly several times over the issue during the last one year, especially after the state government refused to hand over the case to the CBI.

Though Kamat now claims the state government had requested the CBI to take over the case, CBI officials, while responding to a petition filed in the Bombay High Court by a student union leader on the drug probe, could have just called his bluff.

“The state government had not issued any authorization to the CBI to take over investigation of the case as required under the provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act 1946,” S.S. Gavali, the CBI superintendent of police in Goa, told the high court via an affidavit Monday.

He said the case should not be handed over to the CBI because “none of the accused involved in the case are central government employees and therefore the case did not fall within the ambit of CBI jurisdiction”.

CBI also told the court that the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) was more suitable to handle the investigations.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said the CBI affidavit proves the Congress-led alliance government had misled the assembly.

“Who is lying? The home minister or the CBI? On one hand, the home minister says he has handed over the case to the CBI, but the CBI denies it. The home minister has misled the Goa assembly and taken it for a ride. He has made a false statement before the house. He should resign from his post as home minister,” party spokesman Rajendra Arlekar said.

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