Will Govt probe both Ravindra and Fomento, if it was a bribe?

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 13 April 2016 22:21 IST

In a case of bribe, the crime is committed by both, the one who takes the bribe and also the one who gives it.

When Fomento exposed the alleged corrupt act of Ravindra Velip of extortion, is the mining firm admits that it paid a bribe to him?

And will the Goa government now act against both – Caurem’s tribal leader Ravindra Velip as well as Caurem’s mining lease owner Fomento?

“They are caught up in their own trap”, feels Valmiki Naik, Goa’s leader of Aam Aadmi Party, which rose up in the country through the movement of India Against Corruption.

When the same question is asked to Sanguem MLA Subhash Phaldesai, he expresses ignorance over why Fomento was subjected to extortion.

Fomento, Goa’s leading mining company, has alleged that it paid Rs 23 lakh to Ravindra in 2012 while making an allegation that the protesting tribals of Caurem are actually involved in extorting money from the mining firms.

“It means Fomento admits that it paid a bribe to Ravindra by cheque. Is that not a crime”, asks AAP leader Naik.

Phaldesai, on the other hand, demands that government should thoroughly probe the shady role of Ravindra and his colleagues  since 2010 till date and also make his bank accounts public.

He also refuses to buy Ravindra’s argument that the money paid to him was actually the compensation Fomento paid for the damage they caused to the crops of villagers.

“Let him produce the list. I also belong to the same village. But I know at least 200 people who have not received the compensation”, says the Caurem-based BJP legislator.

Since he was demanding a probe only against Ravindra, a journalist at a press conference had to remind the Sanguem MLA the statement of his leader Manohar Parrikar that both giver and taker are guilty of committing the crime of corruption.

“Okay, probe also the role of Fomento. But I am forcefully demanding probe against Ravindra because he has made false accusations against me and has traumatised my family members for no reason”, he justifies.

And not forceful about probe against Fomento because they have not accused you? – Asks a journalist.

“May be. I am more concerned about the false accusations made against me”, says Phaldesai.

He also wants to know how a truck driver (Ravindra) suddenly becomes the owner of trucks and where the money came from to buy the trucks.

At the same time, the MLA says he has stopped his own truck business since 2012, giving up his annual turnover of Rs 25 crore.

Didn’t they try to extort money from you when you were the transport contractor? Another journalist asked him.

“I did  it skilfully. I was depositing money in the account of each and every villager. Also paying Rs 500 to 600 students and scholarships to 550 students. This was my Corporate Social Responsibility,” he says proudly.

And now, he says, he lives only on the salary he gets as the MLA.

According to Phaldesai, the story of attack on him in the jail was a pre-planned stunt, for which they refused the bail and went to the jail to defame him.

“My political opponents are behind this conspiracy”, alleges the BJP MLA.

But Ravindra feels that politicians from Phaldesai to Parsekar (CM) are in collusion with the miners to loot the state.

“We are for sustainable mining, but they are not”, claims Ravindra.

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