Submitted by Subeditor on Tue, 2016-02-16 19:13 Mangaluru: District in-charge minister Ramanatha Rai has refuted allegations that he is involved with the sand mafia in the district or any other illegal business. Reacting to the statement of former minister Krishna J Palemar, who alleged that Ramanatha Rai was in collusion with the sand mafia, Rai on Tuesday said the word ‘sand mafia’ came into use in Dakshina Kannada district only due to Palemar who had been involved in such illegal activities previously. “After the Congress came to power in the state, the government collected over Rs14 crore royalty from the Coastal Regulating Zone (CRZ) system. In order to regulate excessive sand mining, mining activities have been allowed only after floating tender through Public Works Department (PWD). Hence, the allegation of my involvement is baseless,” he said. On the problems pertaining to division of property under forms 9, 11 A and 11B, Rai said the government had already simplified the rules pertaining to the division of family property in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts. “However, it takes a little time to get reflected in the software,” he said. The minister asked people to be vigilant of the tactics of the BJP which was trying to mislead people. “BJP has been supporting miscreants who try to create communal violence in the district. People should teach a befitting lesson to the BJP in the upcoming ZP and TP election,” Rai said.