Congress legislator accuses Goa Home Minister of shielding criminals

February 5th, 2009 - 4:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Feb 5 (IANS) A ruling party legislator created ripples in the Goa legislative assembly Thursday when he alleged that Home Minister Ravi Naik had failed to take action against “a gang of extortionists” involved in flesh trade in the coastal belt despite being shown an incriminating video clipping. Speaking during a calling attention motion, Agnelo Fernandes, Congress legislator from Calangute also quoted the extortionists — one of whom has been identified as Francis Serrom, a local panchayat member — as saying that they were aides of the home minister’s son.

Fernandes said he had even shown a clipping of the extortionists in action to the home minister in the presence of the Superintendent of Police (North) Bosco George, but no action was taken.

“This was about a month ago. I had showed a recording to the minister of the gang members coercing a public works department official to fraudulently issue a completion certificate for a construction which was still incomplete. But no action was taken,” Fernandes said.

“The same persons are involved in flesh trade in the coastal belt. They threaten people by saying they are friends of the home minister’s so no action can be taken against them,” he added.

This is not the first time that the name of Naik’s kin has surfaced in connection with a crime in the coastal belt. The name of his son Roy had cropped up in connection with the murder of British teenager Scarlett Keeling in February last year.

Transport minister Sudin Dhavalikar also accused the home minister of not acting on a complaint where a mob of 400 persons threatened him at his house some time back.

“I complained to the chief minister and the home minister. This is very serious. But no action was taken,” Dhavalikar said.

Responding to the accusations, Naik said that in the past he had taken action against his brother and other kin.

“I have never hesitated in taking action against my relatives. Anybody can say they are my friends or close to my family,” Naik said.

He also dismissed his cabinet colleague Dhavalikar’s allegation of inaction with regards to the criminal complaint filed by the latter. “We filed a first information report (FIR). But it was not a serious issue,” Naik said.

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