Panaji: Activists fighting illegal mining in Goa on Monday said Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar`s helplessness to assure safety of environmentalists gave the impression that he is a "toy in the hands of mining lobby".
"The chief minister has become a toy in the hands of the mining lobby. He has got some hidden agenda against environmentalists," environment activist Ramesh Gawas alleged.
Gawas along with Claude Alvares, a petitioner in Supreme Court against illegal mining in Goa, met Governor B V Wanchoo and submitted a memorandum expressing concern over safety of activists in the wake of recent statements by Parrikar.
"The chief minister in an interaction with the press expressed his helplessness and a possible deterioration in law and order situation and publicly stated that he may not be able to guarantee personal safety of some of the activists," Gawas said.
He alleged mining industry supporters had disrupted a private workshop being held to discuss the findings and recommendations of the Shah Commission in Margao city recently, as part of the well-devised strategy.
"Buses were hired to bring in a large number of persons to the venue. The participants in the workshop were held under siege for more than an hour," Gawas said, adding that two senior activists were hackled and threatened when they left the venue.
Responding to a query, Gawas said, "Since objectionable statements were made by the chief minister himself, it is futile to lodge complaint with the Home Secretary, hence we have sought intervention of the Governor."
Gawas and Alvares said they urged the governor to order inquiry into all incidents wherein environmentalists are threatened.