Ports Minister Krishna Palemar on Thursday dubbed Deputy Conservator of Forest R Gokul as a ‘headstrong’ person who has scant respect for elected representatives..." />
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Ports Minister Krishna J Palemar defends move to suspend Gokul

Ports Minister Krishna J Palemar defends move to suspend Gokul

Mangalore Today News Network

krishna PalemarBangalore, June 24: Ports Minister Krishna Palemar on Thursday dubbed Deputy Conservator of Forest R Gokul as a ‘headstrong’ person who has scant respect for elected representatives.

On Wednesday, Lokayukta Santosh Hegde had said that Palemar had written to the CM to suspend Gokul because the officer acted on the direction of him (Hegde) pertaining to seizure of iron ore in Belekeri port of Karwar.

When contacted by Deccan Herald, Palemar said, “After I heard about the iron ore missing from the port, during my tour of Karwar on June 8, I had convened a meeting of various officials. I had sent a word to Gokul too because he was the one who had dumped the ore in the port. He did not turn up for the meeting.”

Palemar said that even if the officer was not willing to attend the meeting, he could have met me personally to give more details about the theft of the ore.

Dereliction of duty

The Minister said on his return to Bangalore on June 9, he wrote a letter to the Chief Minister requesting him to suspend Gokul on the charges of dereliction of duty as he failed to attend the meeting. This also leads suspicion that whether he was also party to it. Therefore, the officer should be kept  under suspension, the Minister said.

Palemar also said that the case of the missing ore has been referred to the CID for investigation on June 22.

Asked why the ore could not be protected at the port, the Minister said his department is facing severe shortage of staff. Despite being aware of the fact, the DCF just allowed the dumping of ore. And, by producing indemnity bonds, the exporters lifted the ore.

The Minister said that he has highest regards for Justice Hegde and his family. “Justice Hegde has misunderstood the Government. I had to request the Chief Minister to take action against Gokul because he disobeyed. It was his own department’s six checkposts which had allowed transport of ore from a mining area.”

DCF was not obliged to attend meeting

DCF Gokul reportedly decided to keep off the meeting convened by Minister Palemar as it was not a scheduled meeting and he was not obliged to attend it as he did not belong to the departments of ports. Sources in the government said that Palemar had sent a message to Gokul to attend the meeting through Capt Swamy, the port officer of Karwar.

“A police case has been registered against Capt Swamy in connection with the unauthorised ore-lifting case. Gokul was aware that Capt Swamy would be attending the meeting. There are 11 accused export firms. Even the representatives of these companies were present with the minister besides three Stevedores. The Minister is not in charge of Karwar. Then why should the DCF attend the meeting?”, the sources questioned.

EX-Minister Behind Palemar’s action against forest official


Nagaraj shetty.June 25:  Former Minister Nagaraj Shetty, 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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