Essar GM gets bail in the naxal payouts case

Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh): A Dantewada district court has granted bail to the Essar general manager, who is one of the accused in the alleged payouts of the protection money by the multinational to Maoists in Chhattisgarh. Observing that the case of the accused DVCS Verma is different from that of the other accused, the district and sessions court judge A K Beck granted him bail saying the police have failed to produce enough evidence against him even three months after his arrest, defence counsel K K Dubey told reporters here today.

The court ordered Verma`s release on two bonds of Rs two lakh each, he said. The Dantewada police had on September 27 last arrested the senior Essar official under different sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the provisions of the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Regulation. A contractor from Kirandul B K Lala and one Lingaram Kodopi too were nabbed along with Rs 15 lakh cash in connection with the alleged payouts of the protection money to the Red Ultras besides Verma.

A tribal school teacher and alleged naxal conduit Soni Sodhi was apprehended from Delhi in this connection. The court also observed that the Essar official was arrested only on the statement given by B K Lala and the investigators could not produce any additional evidence against him. The Essar had denied the allegations of any payouts made to the Maoists by the company or its officials.