Panaji: The Goa Police on Friday charge-sheeted Ramesh Tawadkar, Sports Minister in the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government, and seven others in a 2009 rioting case at a wildlife sanctuary in South Goa.

The chargesheet was filed at Canacona Judicial Magistrate’s court under sections 143, 147, 451, 353, 224 and 225 read with Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Tawadkar, who is a cabinet minister and a legislator from the Poinguinim constituency in South Goa, was booked for barging into the office of a forest range officer in Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, around 80 km from Panaji, and forcibly taking away two persons from the custody of the forest officials.

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While the Opposition, including a regional political party Goa Forward, has demanded the resignation of Tawadkar, the minister claims that the offence was registered only because he tried to stop a forest official from beating up forest dwellers.

“It was my duty as a public servant to intervene, when the range forest officer was beating up people,” Tawadkar told IANS on Friday.

When asked if he would submit his resignation due to the development Tawadkar said: “This is a minor thing. There is no question of me resigning.”

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