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Ekka bunks vigilance date

Ranchi, March 27: Anosh Ekka and his wife today dodged vigilance bureau officials probing a disproportionate assets case filed against the former minister in December last year.

While the former minister, who was scheduled to appear for questioning today failed to turn up, bureau officials who had gone to his house to question his wife said she was “missing”.

Bureau officials described the Ekkas’ move as “attempts to subvert the process of justice” and according to sources, were now getting ready to “take stringent steps” against the former rural development minister.

Officials revealed Ekka had been asked to come to the bureau for questioning with details of businesses entered into by Ekka Construction, a firm owned by his wife, Menon Ekka.

Instead, the ex-minister sent a letter to the bureau saying he was busy with electioneering and hence unable to turn up for interrogation.

The bureau then sent a team to the Ekkas’ residence to question his wife on the business transactions of her firm. But she wasn’t at home. Even the domestic helps at the minister’s residence didn’t have a clue about their whereabouts, said an officer.

Bureau officials pointed out it was clear the former minister was buying time.

Also, all supporting documents submitted by him were useless and evidently “he was trying to take the bureau for a ride”, they added.

“We are seeking legal opinion to take stringent action against the accused,” said inspector-general of police (vigilance) M.V. Rao.

“An accused does not have the freedom to decide when he should turn up for interrogation. In fact, the probe cannot be delayed on the plea that the accused is busy in electioneering,” he added.

Ekka could not be contacted for comment.

Former minister Harinarayan Rai, facing similar investigations, was scheduled to appear for interrogation tomorrow.

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