Black Rose sinking: Several agencies, people involved, says PPT chairman

Bhubaneswar: A day after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was roped in to investigate sinking of MV Black Rose vessel off Paradip coast, chairman of Paradip Port Trust Rinkesh Ray on Tuesday hinted at involvement of several people in the incident.

The Black Rose vessel had came to the port with forged documents. Several agencies and people are involved in the illegal shipping, said Ray, adding, “I will cooperate with CBI in the investigation.”

Meanwhile, political parties have started slinging mud at each other with the Opposition accusing Odisha CM of shielding the culprits behind the incident.

BJP spokesperson Samir Mohanty said that close links of former minister and current Jajpur MLA has come to the fore in media several times; besides, Jajpur MLA’s brother has business links with Black Rose ship and he was even seen chauffeuring the CM during the centenary celebrations of the municipality.

“Doesn’t this mean that the CM has given protection to the persons involved in the incident?” he questioned.

Similarly, Congress’ Ashok Samal targeted the ruling-BJD government and said that when Black Rose sank nine years ago, involvement of a BJD leader was alleged in several media reports and later on Crime Branch was handed over the probe; however, it is still silent on the issue.

“It’s surprising that the investigative agency is yet to trace the people involved. We hope that the CBI will bring out the truth,” Samal said.

On the other hand, senior BJD leader Dama Rout said, “If CBI asks, I will reveal whatever I know. The Law Minister might know who the owner of Black Rose is.”

However, BJD refuted the allegations saying it has become a tendency of the BJP to drag the ruling-party into every issue.

“Crime Branch was investigating the matter and the case is already pending in court. Now, the Shipping ministry has written for CBI investigation. It remains to be seen whether there will be an investigation or it’s just an eyewash and politically-motivated step,” said BJD spokesperson, Pratap Deb.

The Mongolian vessel, MV Black Rose sank 5 kms off the Paradip port on September 9, 2009 due to unknown reasons. It is alleged that the vessel was engaged in illegal transportation of iron-ore and other minerals by forging documents.