NCP leader arrested for illegal mining


Panaji : Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Jeetendra Deshprabhu was Thursday arrested by the Goa Police’s Crime Branch in an illegal mining case.

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Deshprabhu, a national-level party office bearer and party in-charge of Gujarat, was arrested minutes after his application for anticipatory bail was rejected by a local trial court here.

Deshprabhu has already been fined Rs.1.7 crore for carrying out illegal bauxite mining in Korgao village, 30 km from here.

He was booked along with state mines director Arvind Lolienkar, following an FIR filed by right to information (RTI) activist Kashinath Shetye, who had accused both of carrying out illegal mining.

Deshprabhu had earlier been summoned by the court on three occasions, but failed to appear.

“Deshprabhu has been arrested in the illegal mining case. His presence in our custody is necessary for our investigations in the case,” a Crime Branch official said.

Reacting to the arrest, NCP spokesperson Trajan D’Mello said that the “law must take its own course”. The NCP is part of the Congress-led coalition government in Goa and has two ministers in the 12-member cabinet

Incidentally, Deshprabhu is not the only NCP office bearer who is being accused of illegal mining in Goa.

NCP’s Goa co-ordinator Prafulla Hede has already been hauled up for illegal mining by the Goa government, while another office bearer Gitesh Naik has already been arrested in an illegal mining case.