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US bribery case: Goa cops on track in the case, no need for a CBI probe, says CM Laxmikant Parsekar

Saturday, 8 August, Panaji : Hailing Goa Police’s probe into the Louis Berger bribery scandal, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Saturday said the probe is heading in right direction and there was no need to hand over the case to CBI.

“The case should be handled by Goa Police and chargesheet be filed in the state itself,” Parsekar said on the sidelines of a function organised to flag off a train.

Goa Police’s Crime Branch is probing the high-profile case in which four persons, including former PWD Minister Churchill Alemao and an ex-executive of US-based management consultancy firm Louis Berger, have been arrested till now.

Opposition Congress has demanded that the case be given to CBI and accused Crime Branch of “acting selectively” in the matter. Parsekar himself had earlier indicated that the Central agency will take over the matter after preliminary probe by Crime Branch.

“I had given the case to Crime Branch so that they can make a base for further investigations by CBI. But the way they (Crime Branch) are investigating, I salute them,” the Chief Minister said.

Crime Branch has also twice questioned former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, during whose tenure the bribery scandal took place. Fearing arrest, the Congress leader has moved a local court for anticipatory bail.

“Crime Branch is moving in the right direction in the case. I am not going to interfere with them. There is no point in handing it over to CBI,” he said. Parsekar said successful investigations in the case will send a strong signal to corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.

“This case will create fear in the minds of (corrupt) people. You come to politics, you get yourself elected, you become Minister and do anything – this has become the mindset of some people. This mindset has to be changed,” he said.

Asked whether more corruption-related cases will be taken up for investigation, Parsekar said “I don’t want to create fear in the state but sins of many people have come to the fore.”

The scandal involves Louis Berger allegedly doling out bribes in India in 2010 to win the consultancy contract for a mega water and sewerage project being implemented in Goa with Japanese assistance.