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Sajal on lake tragedy

Ranchi, Jan. 23: Former tourism secretary Sajal Chakraborty today reiterated that he had no role in last month’s Ranchi lake tragedy in which four persons, including a three-year-old died.

Chakraborty’s clarification comes a day after family members of some of the victims approached the police to take action against him.

Chakraborty, who was also in the boat that had capsized in the lake on the day of the inauguration of the joy ride on December 15, said he was not steering the boat.

“It’s a ploy to implicate me in a false case. I was similarly implicated in fodder scam, only to get acquitted 18 years later. But I faced a lot of humiliation all this while and hence, wanted to present my side of the story yet again,” said Chakraborty, who was recently transferred to the transport department as secretary.

He further alleged Chatterjee International, the firm that started the boating in association with Ranchi Municipal Corporation at Ranchi Lake, was blackmailing him.

“They aren’t directly asking for money but says compensate for deaths through settlements. What does this mean?” Chakraborty, also civil aviation secretary, asked.

Of the four dead, three were related to the owners of Chatterjee International.

Chakraborty said he had gone to grace the launch of the boat ride for his personal ties with the firm’s owners, who had invited him.