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Bitumen scam arrest

Ranchi, June 6: CBI today arrested a road construction department executive engineer, suspended for his alleged involvement in the infamous bitumen scam of 1994-95.

F. Kispotta was arrested from his residence at Samlong under Chutia police station in the outskirts of the state capital, on the basis of a warrant issued against him on June 2 by the CBI.

Kispotta was wanted in the scam dating back to financial year 1994-95 when 510 MT bitumen worth Rs 26 lakh was picked up from Haldia in West Bengal to be delivered to then executive engineer of the road construction department, Mohammed Azma Mud Zama.

But the consignment never reached Ranchi. The matter was first reported to the police but latter the CBI took over investigations in 1997.

According to a CBI official, “On June 2, special CBI judge N.N.Singh had to frame charges against 15 accused involved in the bitumen scam in which CBI submitted a chargesheet. But that day charges against only 14, including former road construction minister of Bihar Iliyas Hassain, could be framed. Kispotta, the 15th accused, did not turn up before the court, because of which charges against him could not be framed.”

The judge took strong exception and issued an arrest warrant against Kispotta him on that day to ensure hi presence before the court. That warrant was executed today and Kispotta was arrested and sent to judicial custody.

The 14 against whom charges were framed included Hussain’s personal assistant Shahabuddin Beg, director of the road construction department Kedar Paswan, assistants Mustafa Ahmed and Sobha Singh, besides four officials of Hindustan Petroleum Chemical Limited and five officials of Pawan Carrier, which was supposed to transport the bitumen from Haldia.