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Ex-Minister behind Palemar's action against forest official?

Raghava M.

BANGALORE: A former Minister, who enjoys considerable clout in Dakshina Kannada, is said to be behind Minister for Ports and Environment Krishna Palemar's decision to recommend suspension of Deputy Commissioner of Forests, Karwar, R. Gokul, who raided the Belekeri Port and seized eight lakh tonnes of ore.

Officers privy to the investigations into the illegal transportation of iron ore to Belekeri and Karwar ports said the iron ore seized by Mr. Gokul on March 31 included those pertaining the former minister, who runs a transport company and is connected to a shipping company. Mr. Gokul had not only registered a complaint of illegal transportation, but also registered another FIR when about 5 lakh tonnes of ore was allowed to be exported from the Belekeri Port when the issue was pending before the High Court. The meeting that Mr. Palemar accused Mr. Gokul of skipping is related to the action by the latter in registering the second complaint. The Minister had asked Mr. Gokul to participate in the meeting attended by persons accused of moving the ore from the Belekeri Port. Among those who attended the meeting included the former Minister.

“How can a person who has filed a complaint attend a meeting in which the persons whom he has accused attend?” a senior official questioned.

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