Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi next week in a bid to resolve the mining crisis in the the state. The crisis has led to protests by mining-dependent stakeholders after the Supreme Court of India banned mining in all 88 operational mining leases from March this year. “The Chief Minister will hold a joint meeting of all MLAs from mining areas, shortly to arrive at a consensus after which the matter will be taken up with the Centre and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office said on Friday, after Mr. Parrikar met legislators from the coastal state’s mining belt. Resolving the mining imbroglio is one of the first challenges before Mr. Parrikar, who returned to Goa on June 14 after more than three months of absence, during which he was undergoing treatment at a U.S. hospital.Among the legislators who met the Chief Minister were Speaker Pramod Sawant, Pravin Zantye, Rajesh Patnekar (BJP), Prasad Gaonkar (Independent) and Deepak Pauskar (Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party), where the Chief Minister discussed ways and means in which mining can be resumed in Goa. After more deliberations with legislators and a joint meeting with all the legislators, Mr. Parrikar is likely to meet Modi during his visit to the national capital next week. The mining issue has been on the boil in Goa following a Supreme Court order in February this year banning extraction and transportation of iron ore from 88 mining leases from March-end this year. The court has directed the state government to reissue the leases following appropriate process. Mr. Pawaskar, MLA of MGP told presspersons after the meeting with Mr. Parrikar on Thursday evening that the government has three options open, namely, passing an ordinance in Parliament to extend the life of the leases, auctioning the leases, and forming a state-run mining corporation to oversee mining operations. The decision will be taken by the government only after the Chief Minister discusses the issue with Prime Minister, reiterated Mr. Pawaskar.Meanwhile, Goa Pradesh Congress president Girish Chodankar, who called on the representatives of mining dependents, who are sitting on a protest in the city for some time demanding immediate resumption of mining activity in the State after the monsoons. He reiterated his party’s stand at a press conference at the Congress headquarters on Friday that they will support any solution for the mining crisis from the government provided it is within legal framework.
Police have arrested two persons on the charge of beating a one-and-a-half-year-old child to death in a fight that followed an objection by the infant’s father to a child from the accused family urinating in the open at Bagaspur village in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh on October 1. The accused have been identified as Ram Singh and his son Umesh.“As a six-year-old boy was urinating on the road, the child’s father objected to it. And in turn, the boy’s father and grandfather attacked attacked him with lathis. The 18-month-old boy he was holding suffered blows and died on the spot,” Amit Sanghi, Sagar Superintendent of Police, told The Hindu.“There is a running feud between the two tribal families,” he said.A case was registered under Section 302 [punishment for murder] of the Indian Penal Code. The injured father is being treated at a local hospital.The case had no similarities to the Shivpuri case where two children were beaten to death for allegedly defecating in public, Mr. Sanghi stated, adding, “There is confusion. There is no case of open defecation here.”
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