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'Digambar Kamat will be arrested in mining scam'

Posted on Mar 28 2014 | IANS

Panaji, March 28 : Former Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat will "sooner or later" be "arrested" in connection with a Rs.35,000 crore mining scam in the state, BJP vice president Wilfred Misquita said Friday.

"Sooner or later, he will be arrested. I cannot tell you when exactly," Misquita said, even as former director of mines and geology department Arvind Lolienkar, a close aide of Kamat, was arrested for the scam.

Goa Police, who have been accused of going slow in investigations, arrested a small-time ore dealer and a junior bureaucrat in connection with the scam over the last one week.

Asked if the owners of leading mining companies in Goa, indicted in the Justice M.B. Shah Commission report for illegal mining would be arrested anytime soon, Mesquita said: "It is up to the government. The party cannot comment on it."

Kamat was a Congress chief minister and minister for mines from 2007 to 2012 and has been accused of flouting rules to allow mining companies to illegally carry out mining operations in the state.

The Shah Commission report has accused a nexus of politicians, bureaucrats and mining companies for the scam.

After sporadic bans by the state and central governments, the Supreme Court banned all mining activity in the state, following a petition filed by a NGO and lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who have pleaded a clean-up of Goa's chaotic mining sector.

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