Ex-deputy sarpanch who moved court against CM’s son being harassed: AAP

Panaji: The AAP in Goa on Friday accused the ruling BJP government of harassing a former deputy sarpanch who had filed a plea in the Bombay High Court last month seeking a probe into alleged illegalities committed by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s son in an eco-tourism project.

Addressing a press conference in Goa, Aam Aadmi Party convenor Elvis Gomes said former deputy sarpanch of the Netravali panchayat Abhijit Dessai was “unfairly” sacked last month by Director of the state Panchayat Department “out of vengeance” soon after he filed a petition in High Court against Parrikar’s son Abhijat.

“The order of disqualification would not survive the judicial test but is good enough to cause fear among others that they too would meet the same fate,” Gomes said.

On February 12, the High Court had issued notices to Abhijat in connection with a petition filed against him by Dessai for alleged destruction of forest area for construction of an eco-resort located near the Netravali wildlife sanctuary.

Abhijat as well as several state government agencies have been directed to respond to the notice by March 11.

Dessai’s removal follows a complaint of illegal collection of money from tourists visiting the wildlife sanctuary located in the village jurisdiction.

The order by Panchayat Director Rajan Satardekar last month had also disqualified Dessai as well as Sarpanch Rajani Gaonkar from membership of the Netravali panchayat for five years.

“It is a signal to those yet to know, that a panch should not cross the path of a minister or his sons and daughters,” Gomes said, alleging vengeance against Dessai.