Three-year jail for Gujarat minister

Three-year jail for Gujarat minister

A senior mi­nister in the Narendra Modi government was on Saturday sentenced to three ye­ars’ imprisonment by a court in Porbandar in the Rs 54-crore illegal limestone mini­ng case.

Gujarat Water Resources Minister Babu Bokhiria was convicted by Chief Judicial Magistrate C V Pandya.

Bokhiria, former Congress MP Bharat Odedara, Bhima Dula Odedara, now behind bars in a murder case, and his son Lakshman Dula Ode­d­ara, chairman of the Porbandar marketing yard, were se­n­tenced to three years’ jail and fined Rs 5,000 each.

In 2006, the manager of Saurashtra Chemical Company Umesh Bhavsar had registered a complaint against Bokharia and others alleging that they had illegally mined limestone from the land where the company holds mining rights.

The complaint also mentioned that the company incurred a loss of Rs 54 crore due to the illegal mining.

The Porbandar police had arrested Bokhiria in 2007 from the city airport as after the complaint was registered, he left the country and was declared an absconder. However, the high court had later released him on bail.

In the recent Assembly elections, Bokhiria defeated state Congress president Arjun Modhwadia and was made a Cabinet minister in the Modi government which took over the reins on December 25.

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