A vigil in front of Pataliputra Travel Agency in Patna throughout one night in October 1996 and the raid that followed the next morning was the turning point of the fodder scam investigation.
It allowed the CBI to link politicians and bureaucrats such as Lalu Prasad, former DSP of CBI Samir Ranjan Majumder told HT minutes after the former Bihar chief minister was put behind bars.
“The raid on Pataliputra Travel agency was the turning point. We kept a watch on the premises throughout the night. When the doors opened in the morning we barged in. It was the first time that we found that favours in the form of air tickets were issued to politicians and bureaucrats. It was a night in October 1996,” said Majumder, while talking to HT from Sikkim.
Monday was a happy day for Majumder (62), who retired from the CBI in November and is presently working as officer on special duty at the state vigilance police in Sikkim.
He was a part of the special investigation team under Upen Biswas, the joint director.
Majumdar led a team to investigate the involvement of politicians and bureaucrats involved in the 950-crore scam.
“I am happy that our years of toil ultimately paid off. It took a lot of time though. However, one must remember that the accused tried to delay the process. Besides, there was huge paperwork and a large number of witnesses,” said Majumder.
“We found that Lalu Prasad was involved in aiding, abetting and encouraging the scamsters in the case. Apart from him, there were a lot of politicians and IAS officers in the list,” said Majumder.
Remembering those days in the 90s, Majumder stated that the team used to work from 6 in the morning till midnight everyday.
“The investigation involved raids, developing sources, and more importantly, going through papers and bills. There was huge paperwork involved,” he said.
Majumder was also among the few who grilled Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi in some of the 54 cases relating to the fodder scam and disproportionate assets case investigated by the CBI.
“Both of them evaded question after question when we interrogated them with documentary proof. But it is the right of the accused to do so. Though not initially, they cooperated later.”