Unravelling Bapi Sarkhel and his empire

Bhubaneswar: After the Posco site violence on December 14 which resulted in the death of one man, the name of main accused Arindam alias Bapi Sarkhel has been in circulation starting from political to the administrative circles. But how could Bapi who landed up in Paradip as a contractor was able ride the ladder so high?

Having seen the activities of several companies in Paradip, Bapi on November 17,2000, floated his own company, the Shark Group Marketing Limited and had mostly his family members and relatives on the company board. The company had several tippers and dumpers apart from machineries used in construction activities. While the company letter heads showed that it had its headquarter at Plot Number 270 of Sahid Nagar locality in Bhubaneswar, in another affidavit the head office is shown at Badjamda in Jharkhand.

The mystery behind having two addresses has been unravelled after the December 14 incident. Investigations revealed that the construction work of the Coastal road was assigned to a company called Paradip Parivahan Private Limited. Even the government has clarified it. Interestingly, Bapi Sarkhel is not the proprietor of the company and has no realations with it on pen and paper. According to te registration deed, the company has one Khalid Khan as its director while another man Fouzia Sultan is the Managing Director.

Then what was Bapi`s relations with the company? The company officials preferred to maintain a tight lip on that. It is as much mysterious as Bapi`s company having two addresses? But one thing is sure. Bapi enjoyed the support of quite a large number of people in Paradip.

Several establishments of Bapi Sarkhel have closed down after the raids. Whether the establishments would resume operation would be known only after Bapi Sarkhel is released from the jail.