Essar GM held for Maoist payout
Following two weeks of intensive probe into the allegations that Essar had been paying protection money to Maoists in Dantewada, police have taken into custody the company's general manager. Ejaz Kaiser reports.india Updated: Sep 28, 2011 02:29 IST
Following two weeks of intensive probe into the allegations that Essar had been paying protection money to Maoists in Dantewada, police on Tuesday have taken into custody the company's general manager and preparing to arrest another officer from Orissa's Chitrakonda block in Malkangiri.
Dantewada superintendent of police Ankit Garg told Hindustan Times that the general manager DVCS Verma's arrest establishes Essar Group's involvement in cash transfer to Maoists.
A civil contractor BK Lala, who was caught red-handed on September 9 along with the alleged Maoist supporter near Palnar weekly market in Dantewada, revealed that he was carrying Rs 15 lakh on behalf of Essar to be handed over to the rebels.
Essar admitted to HT that Lala has been doing some miscellaneous contract works for the company but the denied any linkage with payouts.
"We are pursuing a very complex investigation, which will continue. Every minute details of the probe were analysed before the general manager was taken into police custody. He will be produced before the court and we will seek the police remand of the arrested officer," Garg stated.
Following some concrete leads, the Dantewada Police will soon arrest another officer of Essar posted at Chitrakonda, C Srinivas who is deputy manager.
"We will send our team to arrest Srinivas", the SP said.
During the course of inquiry, the Essar officials outside the state were also under scanner for funding huge amounts to the guerillas.
WikiLeaks has recently revealed that the Ruias-led Essar Group in Chhattisgarh is paying 'protection money' to outlawed Maoists to safeguard its operation.
The company has its business operations in south Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district, which is controlled by the company's Vishakapatnam based main office.