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Back in chair after month behind bars

Ranchi, Nov. 2: Released from jail on bail after spending a month behind bars on a murder charge, Tileshwar Sahu today went back to resume duties as chairman of the Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board.

Unusual, since service rules of the board, which is under the environment and forests department, stipulate that any government servant serving even a day in prison is liable to be suspended with immediate effect. But since Sahu is a political appointee, he is possibly not bound by such regulations.

Sahu was released from a Gumla jail yesterday after he got bail from Jharkhand High Court. The Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board chief was behind bars for 32 days.

To celebrate his freedom, Sahu first went to Kolebira in Simdega district where he addressed a meeting at the stronghold of minister Anosh Ekka, his once-close friend-turned-bitter foe. Sahu has accused Ekka of plotting to put him behind bars.

Ekka wasn’t there to greet his “friend” on his freedom, but sources said the two crossed paths later in the day near Torpa on the Ranchi-Simdega road when the minister was returning to his constituency and Sahu was travelling to the capital to resume charge.

His office in Dhurwa was, waiting to welcome him back. Board officials and staff members, who usually pack up by 5 pm, today waited for a further one hour and 45 minutes for their chief to turn up.

Sahu remained in his chamber for at least 15 minutes and met officials who extended a warm welcome on his “comeback”.

The chairman signed some files, which board sources said, “were not of much importance”.

Deputy chief minister, Sudhir Mahto, who also holds the environment and forest portfolio, said Sahu would be removed from the post within a week or so. “The files pertaining to Sahu’s removal are being processed. Action would be taken against him,” he said.

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