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Probe Goa minister swiftly like Tehelka editor: Congress

IANS  |  Panaji 

The Congress here on Tuesday demanded a priority probe into an SMS circulating in Goa about an unidentified state cabinet minister's alleged involvement in the suicide of an NRI man.

According to the widely circulated SMS, a state cabinet minister sexually exploited a woman. On learning about this, the woman's husband, an NRI, allegedly committed suicide.

The party said the investigation should be conducted on the lines of the probe into the high-profile sexual assault charge against former Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal.

"If Tarun Tejpal could be probed by Goa Police suo moto on the basis of an e-mail leak, the accusation against a cabinet minister should also be probed on similar lines," Congress spokesperson Durgadas Kamat told a press conference here at the party's state headquarters.

Last Friday, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar told IANS that he had himself received an SMS linking one of his cabinet ministers to the alleged crime.

"If someone has a doubt (on anyone), he should be named. Out of 12 ministers, one is a poor woman, that means there are 11. It is not right to comment on everyone. It is very serious. If someone has documents, he should come out in the open. This is bad and serious, I would say," Parsekar said, making a public appeal to the sender of the SMS to reveal the name of the minister in question.

Parsekar's statement came days after the SMS, which was in circulation, alleged sexual exploitation of a woman by a member of the state cabinet, which forced her husband to commit suicide.

Kamat now claims that the state police and the administration should show the same level of alacrity to respond to such an allegation, as they did during the Tejpal case.

"After all, the chief minister himself has admitted that the SMS had put his entire council of ministers in the realm of doubt," Kamat said.

Tejpal, accused by his junior colleague of raping her twice during a conference at a five-star hotel in Goa, was subsequently arrested in November 2013. He is currently out on bail.

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First Published: Tue, April 21 2015. 20:38 IST