PANAJI: Demanding a public apology of the family of Dattatray Bhave from the Congress party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Saturday, said that its government in the state is in no way responsible for the suicide of late Bhave.
"And if anyone is responsible for his death, it is the Congress party as the erstwhile Congress-led government had abetted uncontrolled illegal mining, which in turn has now made many government officials face serious trouble for being subservient to that government as regards the illegal mining activities," the BJP argued.
It may be recalled that late Bhave, an assistant geologist with the department of mines and geology, was recently suspended along with a number of other officials of the department for their alleged involvement in the mining scam, as a follow-up action to the Shah Commission report probing illegal mining in Goa, and he subsequently committed suicide on September 21.
On the evening of the suicide, the Congress party spokesperson, Mr Jitendra Deshprabhu had announced that he would file an FIR against the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar, the secretary of mines and geology, Mr R K Verma and the director of the department, Mr Prasanna Acharya for abetting the suicide.
The vice-president of the state BJP unit, Dr Wilfred Mesquita and the general secretary of the unit, Mr Narendra Sawaikar, addressing a press conference in the city demanded that the government should expedite the investigation against all stakeholders named as accused in the Shah Commission report and take quick action against them, irrespective of who they are.
"Expediting this investigation has become important due to the death of late Bhave," Dr Mesquita said, adding that the investigation would reveal as to whether late Bhave took the extreme step due to his mental torture by some ‘big fish’ involved in illegal mining or not.
"We want the government to take the Shah Commission report to its logical end by allowing the law of the land to take its own course and punish the guilty," the state BJP vice-president said, further demanding that the government should also take the case pending with the crime branch as against Mr Deshprabhu for his alleged involvement in illegal mining, to its logical conclusion.
"Mr Deshprabhu is one of the accused in the illegal mining case and carries with him much information about such activities," he observed, demanding that the investigating authorities should obtain this information from the Congress leader.
Speaking further, Dr Mesquita said that death, natural or unnatural, is a matter of grief and is to be mourned, but a ‘sick mind’ in the Congress party is making capital out of the human tragedy and exploiting the unfortunate incident for his and his party’s selfish motives.
"The response of the Congress party to the suicide is regrettable and condemnable," he noted.
The state BJP vice-president maintained that suspension of a person from government job should not be interpreted as his or her involvement in the crime.
"Accused government employees are suspended so as to facilitate the probe without any hindrance from them, and there are countless cases wherein the suspended employees have been proved innocent and directed to rejoin the service," Dr Mesquita stated, remarking that a number of local Congress leaders including Mr Deshprabhu had been jailed in the past by their own government for being accused in scams in fields like illegal mining, irrigation, power and education. "However, if according to the logic of the Congress party, suspension or putting the accused behind bars means his humiliation subsequently resulting in death, then all these Congress leaders who were named accused and put behind bars should have been humiliated and therefore dead by now," he quipped.