The Telegraph
Friday , January 24 , 2014
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Bokaro school bully stumps steel plant
Influential auto dealer breaks campus wall to park cars


A leading distributor of Maruti vehicles, known to be close to the Shibu Soren family as well as the BJP MPs of Giridih and Dhanbad, allegedly tore down the boundary wall of the building next-door — Kendriya Vidyalaya — to create more space to park his cars.

Eight days ago, workmen employed by Gopal Lodha, Bokaro Hindustan Auto Agency owner, broke down the school boundary wall. Students and teachers saw rubble being cleared and more than 70 brand-new cars parked where the boundary wall used to be. Both Lodha’s showroom and Kendriya Vidyalaya stand cheek-by-jowl in posh Sector IV.

Interestingly, Bokaro Steel Limited (BSL) is linked to both Kendriya Vidyalaya and Lodha. BSL general manager Jairam Singh is Kendriya Vidyalaya’s nominated chairman. The steel major has also leased Lodha land for his showroom, godown and parking space.

On Wednesday, when The Telegraph spoke to Kendriya Vidyalaya principal on why scores of new cars were parked on her school campus, she said: “I don’t know, please ask my chairman (BSL general manager Jairam Singh).”

Singh could not be reached for his comment. When The Telegraph spoke to Bokaro steel plant chief of communications Sanjay Tewary on cars being parked on the premier school campus, he said he would immediately report the matter to BSL CEO Anutosh Maitra.

On Wednesday night, cars were driven away from the school campus. On Thursday, they were found lined up on the road in front of the school and Lodha’s showroom.

When The Telegraph contacted Lodha on Thursday for an explanation, he declined to speak.

No FIR has been filed regarding the broken boundary wall, allegedly because both the school and BSL can’t take on Lodha, who is close to JMM’s first family and BJP MPs Ravindra Singh (Giridih) and P.M. Singh (Dhanbad), besides being the second-highest sales tax payer in Bokaro.

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