Panaji, Sep 22 (IANS) The Goa government should investigate both the "big and small fish" while probing the Rs.35,000-crore illegal mining scandal, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded Saturday.
The party also accused the Congress of politicising the suicide of D. Bhave, a mines and geology department official suspended for allegedly being part of a corrupt nexus.
Addressing reporters in Panaji Saturday, BJP vice president Wilfred Mesquita said that the government should also probe the role of Congress spokesperson Jitendra Deshprabhu, arrested last year for illegal excavation of ore, in Goa's mining scandal.
"The government should probe both the big fish as well as small fish involved in the mining scam. In Bhave's case, it appears that the big fish were trying to harass him," Mesquita said.
Mesquita's comments come a day after Bhave, an assistant geologist, committed suicide. Bhave was suspended, along with nearly half a dozen other officials, in connection with alleged irregularities in the mining sector.
Congress leaders Deshprabhu and Sudip Tamhankar had said that Bhave's death was a result of harassment by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is also the mines minister.
The Congress leaders said that the BJP-led coalition government was harassing the "small fish" involved in the mining scam, while the "big fish" were allowed to go scot-free.
Defending Parrikar's action, Mesquita said that the role of Deshprabhu in the illegal mining scandal should be probed.
"Deshprabhu was arrested when his own party's government was in power. This shows how deep he is in the mining scam. He should be probed thoroughly," Mesquita said.