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Nilkanth Halarnkar

A Goa court Tuesday directed the state police to file within 24 hours a first information report (FIR) against state Tourism and Housing Minister Nilkanth Halarnkar, who has been accused of a multi-million rupee land scam.

Judicial Magistrate (first class) Shabnam Sheikh ordered police to file the FIR after the complainants – who are right to information (RTI) activists — told the court that police and the state vigilance department were unwilling to register their complaint against the minister and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator for over a month now.

Halarnkar, who was appointed minister a few months ago in the Congress-led coalition government of the state, has been accused of allotting government land to a trust at throwaway rates.

‘Halarnkar, as chairman of the Goa Housing Board, causes a loss of Rs.57 lakh to the exchequer by allotting 23,000 sq mt land at a throwaway price of Rs.1,000 per sq mt to his trust, whereas the land at current rates is valued at more than.Rs 4,000,’ complainant Kashinath Shetye has said.

The land in question is located in the village of Colavle, which is a part of Halarnkar’s legislative assembly constituency.

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