Will order judicial probe if needed: Goa CM on tribal leader’s assault

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Panaji, March 26 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Saturday said a judicial probe may be ordered to look into the assault on tribal leader Ravindra Velip while in judicial custody.

He, however, cautioned people against coming to conclusions in haste about the assault.

“If need be I will do it, and I feel there is a need,” Parsekar told reporters, when asked about demands made by the opposition parties and civil society groups for an impartial judicial probe into the assault.

Velip was arrested on March 22 for stopping trucks ferrying iron ore from a mine in his Cavrem-Pirla village, around 70 km from Panaji.

Velip was arrested on charges of unlawful assembly and wrongful restraint for blocking the transportation of iron ore, which was e-auctioned by the state government to a private ore trading company some months back.

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The tribal leader and anti-illegal mining activist claimed that he and his associates were arrested after they questioned the veracity of the iron ore consignment passing through his village.

On Wednesday, Velip suffered multiple fractures and internal injuries after he was assaulted by unidentified people in the Sada sub-jail premises.

Inspector General of Prisons Elvis Gomes is already conducting an inquiry into the assault and the report is expected to be submitted to the chief minister’s office by Sunday, Parsekar said.

The chief minister cautioned people against coming to quick conclusions.

“What has happened needs to be examined. Just because an allegation has been made, doesn’t mean such an incident has happened. The truth has to surface,” he said.

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