The District Congress Committee, on Thursday, demanded a CBI inquiry into the alleged involvement of former Industries Minister Elamaram Karim in permitting iron ore mining at the ecologically sensitive Chakkittappara village here.

Addressing reporters here, DCC president K.C. Abu said the Congress would launch strong protest campaigns against the accused Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader for exposing the role he played to write off the land to the miners. He claimed that the charge against Mr. Karim was bigger than that of the SNC Lavalin scam.

The Congress leader accused that the former Industries Minister was very much aware of the Rs.5-crore financial transactions made in the name of a benami for granting permission to the private mining company. If the agreement was successful, it could have adversely affected the Peruvannamuzhi dam and gradually the implementation of the Japan-aided drinking water project.

Mr. Abu said the Congress had been constantly campaigning for the protection of the ecologically sensitive region and discouraging attempts of mining activities. In support of the party’s campaign, Union Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran, who represents the region in Parliament, too had come up with his support.

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