| Tunaji Pandey. Telegraph picture |
Two liquor firms’ representative Tunaji Pandey, who dared to raise flag against former deputy inspector-general of police (Saran range) Alok Kumar after he demanded Rs 10 crore as extortion, is scared now.
He is apprehending life-threatening attack on him and his family members for exposing Kumar and his aides. He suspects henchmen of the recalled police officer’s aides — lodged in Shaheed Khudiram Bose Central Jail in Muzaffarpur at present. Without any police protection, he has restricted his movement outside his house at Mairwa in Siwan district, around 140km northwest of Patna.
Pandey (in mid-40s) told The Telegraph that he had apprised the Siwan superintendent of police, Satyaveer Singh, of his apprehension on Thursday night over phone. “I am living under constant fear ever since I lodged a formal complaint against the DIG on January 13,” he said.
Officially, police said, Pandey had not demanded any security cover. Satyaveer, when contacted over phone, told The Telegraph on Friday evening that he had not received any written petition from Pandey regarding the security.
The incumbent DIG (Saran range), Mallar Vizhi, also said the SP had expressed his ignorance over any such demand from Pandey.
Yet, Pandey has firm belief in the top brass of the police. He said he was getting full co-operation from the government machinery in the investigation into the extortion case. “The government is serious about corruption and would not allow those involved in unlawful activities go scot-free,” he said.
Hopeful of action against those demanding extortion money from him, he said: “Three close associates of the former DIG were arrested and put behind the bars because of the state government. Had it not been positive, they would not have been arrested.”
He said he decided to revolt against the former Saran DIG and his associates out of fright. “Marta kya nahi karta (left with no choice),” he said.
Pandey said he had been in the liquor trade since 1986. His father late Radheshyam Pandey was an employee of Doon Valley Distillers, Dehradun. Initially, he also worked there. After a few years, he decided to start his own business.
“As I was associated with the company for long, I was asked to look after the company’s business in Siwan, Gopalganj and Darbhanga,” Pandey said.
He was also employed by UP-based liquor manufacturing company — Co-operative Company Limited in Saharanpur district — to look after its business. Both the liquor-manufacturing companies have their business centres in Siwan, Gopalganj and Darbhanga districts, he said.
Sleuths of the economic offences unit recorded the statement of Pandey on Thursday. “His statement was recorded for the first time after he handed over a written complaint to the DGP on January 13,” said an investigating officer.
He said the statement of Darauli station house officer Samarth Kumar has also been recorded. Kumar had allegedly exerted pressure on Pandey to meet the DIG and abused him for not obeying his order.
Sources in the state police headquarters said the recalled DIG, Kumar, had proceeded on four days’ leave.