Odisha outfit demands CBI probe into mining scam

Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Aug 8:

The Odisha Janaadhikar Parishad, a civil society forum working on mining issues in Odisha, has submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several union ministers including steel and mines minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, seeking a CBI inquiry into the multi-crore mining scam in the state.

They also submitted memoranda to Jual Oram, Minister for Tribal Affairs, and Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, and urged them to apprise the Prime Minster of the immediate need for a CBI inquiry as per Shah Commission recommendation in the greater interest of the tribal people of Odisha.

The forum, which met the Minister for Steel and Mines recently, claimed that the minister had assured it to look into the matter and ensure a CBI Inquiry after consulting with the Prime Minister.

They have also apprised the leaders of different political parties including Sharad Yadav, JD(U) president, D. Raja, CPI secretary, MD. Selim, Deputy Leader of CPM in the Lok Sabha about the findings of Shah Commission and appealed to them to raise this issue in Parliament and mount pressure on BJP-led NDA government for a CBI inquiry in the greater interest of the poor people of Odisha.

“As Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has a dominant presence in Lok Sabha with 20 MPs, the demand for a CBI Inquiry may not find its voice in Parliament. So, the organisation has made desperate appeals to the leaders of all national political parties to demand the a CBI inquiry into the multi-crore mining scam of Odisha, which has not only devastated the economy of the state, but has also damaged the environment and social fabric of the locality,” said the forum in a press release.

Citing the Shah Commission report, the forum, led by Bijay Kumar Parida, said due to illegal mining, the law has been made helpless with its systematic non implementation to plunder mineral wealth. “It has led many people in this country to believe that disregard of law pays and that the consequences of such disregard will never be visited upon them – particularly, if they are men with means and deceitful skills to pollute and spoil the administration,” said the forum.

He also said the state government, which is hand in glove with the mining mafia, had rendered the law helpless and had collapsed its machinery to help the mining mafia.

“Since there is involvement of mighty lessees, big traders of state and outside state, political entities, officers at higher ranks, it will not be possible by state police to find the facts and realities and there would be no justice done for the quantum of illegalities took place. Hence, a CBI inquiry can unearth the whole scam,” said the outfit.

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