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Rumours, panic grip employees

india Updated: Jan 10, 2009 01:16 IST
Ashok Das
Ashok Das
Hindustan Times
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Teams from Sebi and the Serious Frauds Office flew down to question B Ramalinga Raju, former chairman of Satyam Computers on Friday. They arrived amidst rumours flying thick about the future of the beleaguered IT major’s offices in the city.

Both teams arrived at Raju’s sprawling residence at the upmarket Jubilee Hills, but failed to find him there. The Sebi team left after issuing a summons asking Raju to present himself before it on Saturday in connection with the fraud he had admitted to having committed.

“Raju’s home has been visited by teams from both the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and the Serious Frauds Office but he will definitely appear before the SEBI team,” said his lawyer S Bharat Kumar.

All through the day some alarming stories were circulating about Satyam having asked its employees to forego two months salary, and that 15,000 of them — out of a total strength of 53,000 across the globe — would shortly be sacked. “These are pure rumours and we are asking our employees and associates not to lend credence to them, “ said a company spokesman.

Another tale claimed that Satyam’s chief financial officer V Srinivas, who resigned on Thursday, had attempted suicide. The police maintained they had no such knowledge.

Employees across the country tried to present a brave front, though most remained fearful of the future. Several thousand have already posted their CVs on various job portals. “I’ve contacted headhunters and forwarded my resume,” said a female employee, on condition of anonymity. She had recently joined Satyam’s Pune office, which employs more than 2000 people. “If there are retrenchments, I fear it is juniors like me who will lose jobs first,” she said.

But others are keen to stick by Satyam. “I got my job at Satyam in 2006. Satyam gave me a new identity and a fascinating career. I’m not going to leave in a hurry. But my parents have urged me to apply for a new job,” said another employee working at the Bhubaneshwar office.