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Defiant over CEC report, Odisha govt says it will go by SC’s direction

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Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Oct 18:

A day after the Supreme Court (SC) appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) indicted the Odisha government for allowing the miners to violate almost all the existing rules, the state Steel and Mines minister Prafulla Mallick today said the state government would go by the direction of the Supreme Court.

Prafulla Mallick, Minister, Steel & Mines
Prafulla Mallick, Minister, Steel & Mines

“Even though the CEC has submitted its report to the apex court recommending some measures, it can not direct us to do anything. It is only a recommending body and the SC will take the final call. We will abide by the direction of the Supreme Court,” said Mallick.

The minister said the state government was ready to take stringent steps against the violators of the law and it has also initiated action against many officials and lease holders.

Armed with the latest report of CEC, the opposition Congress and BJP reiterated their demand for a CBI probe into the mining scam, which, they alleged, has the direcr involvement of ruling party politicians including the chief minister.

Senior Congress leader and former PCC president Niranjan Patnaik said that the CEC report has exposed the illegal mining activities in Odisha and it needs to be probed by the CBI as many influential people are involved in the scam.

Senior BJP leader Pratap Sarangi also demanded a CBI probe into the multi-crore mining scam.

“After M B Shah Commission, the CEC has also found illegalities in the mining here”, he pointed out.