The comments from Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president John Fernandes came a day after a district court came down heavily on the police for not carrying out a thorough investigation into the building collapse in Canacona town.
“The builder of Ruby Residency is running amok. He comes to the honourable high court in Goa to sign his bail petition and the police cannot arrest him? This government is acting like a waiter to this builder, trying to help him out all the time,” Fernandes told a press conference held at the party’s headquarters.
“And now they are trying to obfuscate the whole issue by declaring the builders as absconders. This is a sham investigation,” Fernandes said.
The opposition has repeatedly accused the Goa government of colluding with the Navi Mumbai-based promoters of the real estate complex by helping them evade arrest, even as Vishwas Dessai, a local partner in the Bharat Realtors and Developers firm was arrested after much delay.
Both the Congress and the NCP have claimed that the project was sanctioned in exchange for two apartments in the complex which were given to Sports Minister Ramesh Tawadkar.
While the latter has admitted to owning the two apartments, he has rejected allegations of shielding the accused. “The flats have been bought with my hard earned money,” Tawadkar said.
On Friday, the Margao District and Sessions Court pulled up Crime Branch SP Kartik Kashyap for shoddy investigation and asked the investigators to file a status report by Feb 14.
The Goa government has appointed a three-member committee headed by a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer to probe the collapse – Goa’s biggest building collapse tragedy till date.
According to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, prima facie inspection suggested that several norms had been flouted in the under-construction structure.
The Congress has demanded a judicial probe into the incident.
“A committee headed by a retired IAS officer is not serious enough a step considering the gravity of the tragedy. A judicial probe is a must,” Fernandes said.