Dama Rout Rakes Up Black Rose Sinking Case

Bhubaneswar: The row over sinking of the Mongolian cargo ship MV Black Rose off the Paradip coast continues with the Opposition BJP, Congress and even a senior BJD leader targeting a former minister of Jajpur, whose company was allegedly involved in the shady mineral trading.

Raking up the issue, senior BJD leader and former minister Damodar Rout said that the iron ore estimated at Rs 30 crore had spilled into the Bay of Bengal with the sinking of the Black Rose. The CBI will unearth the entire sequence of event.

“Law will take its own course. Whoever has committed the crime would be punished accordingly. The chief ministers of Jharkhand and Karnataka were put behind the bars. Even the CBI has not spared the Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram. The law of the land never spares any person having political connection,” Damodar told mediapersons here.

He alleged that the BJP government, which has been in power since 2014, was not keen on probing the case despite repeated demands.

In a statement to the media, BJP state vice president Samir Mohanty said the CBI would unravel the source of the iron ore which was transported in the ship and its owner.

He said the company, which was involved in the illegal mineral trading, had its office at the Fortune Tower in Bhubaneswar. However, the office was closed after the sinking of the ship.

He further said that a former senior IAS officer of Odisha cadre, who is currently on central deputation, was also involved in the illegal trading.

“The Crime Branch, which was probing the case, very well knows the owner of the iron ore which was transported in the ship. Why is the state investigating agency silent on this case?” he asked.

Reacting to the statement of the BJP leader, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said the CBI probe ordered by the Centre was an attempt to gain political mileage ahead of the forthcoming Assembly and Lok Sabha polls. “What the BJP government was doing since last four years on this case?” he asked.

Notably, chairman of the Paradip Port Trust (PPT) Rinkesh Ray on Tuesday had assured all cooperation to the CBI in its probe into the case.

The ill-fated Mangolian cargo ship, carrying 23,847 MT of iron ore and 924 tonnes of furnace oil and 48 tonnes of diesel had sunk about three nautical miles off the Paradip coast at around 6 pm on September 9, 2009. Chief Engineer of Ukraine Oleksander Ilyushchenko was killed and some crew were injured in the mishap.

The Crime Branch, in course of its investigation, had found that the cargo was transported by AB Minerals of Kolkata and Rektor Mines of Odisha.

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