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Goa police’s Malayalam blues delays FIR against Congress leader

IANS | Panaji |

Translation of property deeds registered in Kerala from Malayalam to the English language was among the key reasons which could have delayed a probe into Goa opposition leader and Congress MLA Chandrakant Kavlekar’s disproportionate assets for four years.

Three-time MLA Kavlekar and his wife were booked and their properties raided on Saturday by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for possessing disproportionate assets amounting to Rs 4.78 crore, in connection with the probe which began in 2013.

A large part of the Kavlekar couple’s assets are locked in 14 properties in Kerala, some of them in the state’s picturesque Perunad village in Pathanamthitta district.

One of the reasons for the delay in filing the FIR, according to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is that the ACB took a while to collect and translate the documents, property deeds and other documents, which are originally in the Malayalam language.

“They took some time to collect documents and translate them,” Parrikar told the media on Saturday.

Kavlekar and his wife, also a Congress leader, has been accused of accumulating the disproportionate assets, during his tenure as chairman of the Industrial Development Corporation on three occasions from January 2007 to 2012.

The action by the ACB comes soon after a close aide of former Chief Minister and Congress leader Digambar Kamat was arrested in connection with an illegal mining case.

Congress president Shantaram Naik has also questioned the timing of the raid, claiming that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government was trying to use police machinery to “harass Congress MLAs and force them to join the ruling BJP-led coalition”.

Explaining in further detail, the reasons for delay in registering the FIR against Kavelkar, Superintendent of Police (ACB) Bosco George said, that reading Malayalam was not his personnel’s forte and finding an authorised translator from Malayalam to English was not easy either.