The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kidnap threat to HSCL chief

Bokaro, Feb. 23: Police on Friday confirmed receiving complaints from a general manager of Hindustan Steel Construction Limited (HSCL), who has been threatened with abduction if he fails to pay up Rs 40 lakh.

Two letters, written by the same person who used a ball pen, were sent to the GM and several telephone calls were made, threatening him with dire consequences. HSCL’s adviser (personnel) Sudhir Tripathy held a press briefing this evening and voiced the concern of employees and officers over the development.

However, DIG (coalfield) Anurag Gupta said the threats appeared to have been made by disgruntled employees. The GM had transferred a large number of employees to places in Tamil Nadu, Orissa, and Tripura where HSCL has taken up projects. The GM was under pressure to revoke the transfers. Gupta said the handwriting on the letters indicated they were written by a primary school student.

HSCL staff refuse to take the threats lightly. The GM, they claimed, had incurred the wrath of several major firms by quoting rock-bottom rates. He is also known to have spurned overtures to offload some of the contracts awarded to the public sector company.

The previous Bokaro SP, Manvinder Singh Bhatia, they said, had taken the threats seriously. But before the culprits could be nabbed, he was transferred. While they do not rule out the involvement of trade union leaders or disgruntled employees, they believe that the underworld was contacted to intimidate the officer and force him to leave.

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