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Prolonged mining ban may spark suicide, violence: Parrikar

Posted on Feb 27, 10:44PM | IANS

Panaji, Feb 27 : The prolonged ban on mining in Goa may result in "suicides and violence" triggered by frustration, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said Wednesday.

"If there is violence or suicide, don't be surprised. We have got a police report," Parrikar told reporters here.

The chief minister also said that Goans were normally "cool", but intelligence inputs from the mining belt spoke otherwise.

"Whether you like it or not, 20-25 percent people (in Goa) are dependent on mining," Parrikar said.

The Supreme Court banned mining in Goa about four months ago after hearing a petition filed by activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan.

Bhushan's petition followed the revelation about a Rs.35,000-crore mining scam in Goa exposed by a judicial commission headed by retired apex court judge M.B. Shah. According to the panel, top mining companies, politicians, as well as bureaucrats were beneficiaries of the scam.

The court also announced a probe by a central empowered committee into the illegal mining scam.

Parrikar said the state government would now harvest and export the 20-30 million tonne of low-grade rejected ore dumped on government land to raise revenue and provide employment to those dependent on the mining sector.

"The dumps will be auctioned," the chief minister said, adding that the harvested dumps would be auctioned to the highest bidder after green clearances and legal vetting.