Essar channelised money to Maoists: Chhattisgarh
Raipur, Dec 16 (IANS) The Chhattisgarh government admitted Friday that Essar Group had handed over Rs.15 lakh to a local contractor in the state to pass on to Maoist rebels.
'As per the first information report (FIR), Rs.15 lakh amount was provided from Essar company side to a contractor, B.K. Lala on Sep 9 to hand over to Lingaram Kodopi at a weekly market at village Palnar in Dantewada district,' Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar told the state assembly in a written reply.
He informed the house that so far, four people were arrested in the case and the state government had constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to speed up the probe and get to the bottom of the issue.
Kanwar said that besides Lala and Kodopi who were caught red-handed by police, two others -- a tribal woman teacher, Soni Sori, and Essar general manager, D.V.C.S. Verma, who is posted in state's Dantewada district -- were arrested so far.
The opposition Congress staged a walk out from the assembly accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of deliberately slowing down the police probe in a bid to defend Essar.