Minister in ac payee extortion deal
THIS IS the story of a dare-devil minister of state (independent charge) in the UP government, who allegedly not only extorts money but is so cocksure of his might that he even accepts the extortion money through account payee cheque in his name. His latest victim is a businessman from Saharanpur, the minister?s hometown. Getting no relief from anywhere, one of the victims has lodged a complaint with the Lokayukt against the minister with ?conclusive documentary evidences?.india Updated: Jan 19, 2006 01:17 IST
THIS IS the story of a dare-devil minister of state (independent charge) in the UP government, who allegedly not only extorts money but is so cocksure of his might that he even accepts the extortion money through account payee cheque in his name. His latest victim is a businessman from Saharanpur, the minister’s hometown.
Getting no relief from anywhere, one of the victims has lodged a complaint with the Lokayukt against the minister with ‘conclusive documentary evidences’. The extortion has been going on for the last more than two years.
The minister is Rajendra Singh Rana (Women Welfare) and the victim and complainant Arun Rana, a resident of Praduman Nagar, Jain College Road, Saharanpur.
The minister, according to the report lodged with the Lokayukt, called Arun to his Saharanpur residence through his ‘henchmen’ and threatened to kill him if he didn’t pay Rs one lakh. The minister forced him to issue a cheque in the name of the minister for Rs one lakh. A terrorised Arun had no option but to comply with the orders. He was allowed to go only after he gave a cheque (number 11639) of the desired amount payable at the District Cooperative Bank, Deoband (Saharanpur). The daring minister went to the bank the very next day and got the cheque encashed signing himself on the back of the cheque at the time of taking payment.
After a gap of a few days, the minister once again summoned Rana to his residence and demanded Rs 1.20 lakh. Arun once again gave a cheque (Number 1608) of Dena Bank, Saharaunpur. However, this time it was an account payee cheque. The minister got Rs 1.20 lakh transferred to his own account (Number 2737) in the same branch.
Rana’s misery did not end here. Some time later, the minister ‘requested’ him to ‘spare’ his new Scorpio jeep for two days as he wanted to use the vehicle to attend a marriage. Arun reluctantly gave the keys of his vehicle (HR-01-P-1010) to the minister, who plainly later refused to return the vehicle, which Rana had bought with a loan taken from the Karnal Branchof the HDFC. Rana has been paying a monthly installment of Rs 6228 to the bank. The minister has now got a red light fitted atop the vehicle and is using it openly in Saharanpur and Lucknow. Repeated requests of Rana to return the jeep was met with the retort: forget that it ever belonged to you.
Rana is not the only victim of the extortionist minister, other traders and businessmen of Saharanpur are facing similar threats and are being told to either pay or face the consequences.
Rana, however, could not tolerate the latest demand of Rs two lakh by the minister and ‘revolted’. Rana had earlier lodged repeated complaints against the minister’s excesses with all details and proofs with Governor TV Rajeswar, director general of police Yashpal Singh and had also sent copies of the complaints to the Chief Minister’s Secretariat but to no avail. Nobody probably thought it proper to initiate an inquiry against a powerful state minister.
But the Lokayukt not only initiated an inquiry immediately after getting the complaint, he even sent his interim probe report to the chief minister.
On being contacted, the minister first insisted not to use the story as it would tarnish his image but later said Rana was his close relative and was out to settle scores with him. He said Rana was earlier looking after various works done with his Vidhayak Nidhi. He was later ‘removed’ following detection of bungling committed by him, he added. “His misdeeds were tarnishing my image, so I dissociated myself with Rana and this is the reason that he was levelling wild allegations against me,” the minister said.
First Published: Jan 19, 2006 01:17 IST