Probe fuel adulteration mentioned by Parrikar: Congress to CBI

Panaji, Feb 9 (IANS) The Goa unit of the Congress has written to the CBI director to probe the claims made by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at a public rally two months ago about a fuel adulteration racket in the state.

Congress spokesperson Sunil Kawthankar on Tuesday released to the media a complaint sent to the Central Bureau of Investigation director Anil Sharma, which said Parrikar made the comments in the presence of Home Minister Rajnath Singh when he was in Goa to attend Parrikar’s birthday celebrations.

“It is very unfortunate, serious and shocking, that the defence minister claims that he knows who are involved in fuel adulteration which is supposedly still going on, that too in the presence of the union home minister and chief minister and fails to take any action against those involved in such a practice, which is causing several crores of financial loss to the nation,” Kawthankar said at a press conference quoting from the complaint.

Addressing over 50,000 guests at his birthday celebrations in Panaji on December 13 last year, Parrikar had said he was aware of an ongoing fuel adulteration racket and the people involved, and that he had helped the CBI crack down on such operations in the past.

The speech was made in the presence of union ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and nearly all ministers in the state cabinet.

“More seriously, there are aviation depots and a naval base in Goa, which may be receiving the adulterated fuel and in such circumstances, there may be adverse effects on the aircraft, both military and civilian, endangering human life and government property,” Kawthankar said.

The Congress spokesperson said the party had appealed to Parrikar to file a complaint with the investigation agency to crack down on the fuel adulteration mafia, which Kawthankar claimed had fallen on deaf ears.

“I therefore call upon you to immediately register an FIR on the claims made by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and initiate investigation against those involved in such malpractices and hence this letter may be treated as a formal complaint,” he said, quoting from his letter to the CBI.

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