The Telegraph
Tuesday , February 25 , 2014
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CID quizzes Tata execs, workers

- Widow FIR hints at retirement policy gripe

On a day a CID team reached the city to investigate the fatal gun assault on TML Drivelines executive Brajesh Sahay, his widow lodged an FIR with Telco police indicating that her husband’s role in compulsory retirement for non-performing employees might have triggered the brutal vendetta.

The 40-year-old official of the Tata Motors subsidiary was shot dead in front of his 18C Dalma Road bungalow in Nildih late on Saturday evening. The two unidentified killers, suspected to be hired professionals, had pumped four bullets into his head, chest and neck from close range. Sahay was declared brought dead in hospital.

On Monday morning, a three-member CID team — led by SP M. Tamil Vanan and comprising DSP Sanat Kumar Soren and inspector Dhananjay Singh — began its probe amid protests by traders, social organisations and political parties over deteriorating law and order in the city.

The team — constituted by additional director-general (CID) S.N. Pradhan following directives from DGP Rajiv Kumar — first went to the Nildih quarters to meet Sahay’s widow Sweta. Their conversation lasted nearly an hour. The officers also quizzed the maid who opened the gate soon after the executive’s car screeched to a halt, but did not see either of the assailants.

The sleuths later visited the TML Drivelines office and spoke to senior company executives, including spokesperson Captain P.J. Singh and head of security Nasib Singh Kadian. They searched Sahay’s office for clues. Members of Tata Motors workers’ union were also grilled on the victim’s relationship with employees.

While the CID hopped offices, Sweta lodged an FIR against two unidentified criminals under Sections 302 (murder) and 44 (injury) of the IPC and Sections 23, 26 and 27 of the Arms Act.

In her FIR, she mentioned that Sahay had been disturbed ever since he returned from Pune on February 20. The cause was the brewing resentment among employees over his involvement in enforcing the compulsory retirement scheme. “My husband said the management would promote him… but he was not happy with the resentment among employees,” Sweta Sahay said in her FIR.

According to company sources, the retirement scheme was introduced in December 2013 to weed out non-performing managers and supervisors at TML Drivelines in the backdrop of a global economic crisis. Around 300 employees have been forced to leave work under the scheme so far.

East Singhbhum SSP Amol V. Homkar confirmed the FIR, but refused to reveal details of their investigations. “We have got some leads. We will make arrest within a day or two,” Homkar said.

Incidentally, a special police team had on Sunday also begun probing a possible animosity angle between Tata Motors and its supply vendors. For the past five months, the company has been strictly scrutinising credentials of vendors. Only those owning ailing units in Adityapur are being given supply orders. Sahay had helped implement this new rule.

In another development on Monday, SCCI members staged a demonstration in front of the SSP’s office in Sakchi. President Suresh Sonthalia later met Homkar and expressed their concern over the law and order situation.

The BJP and Akhil Bharatiya Kayastha Mahasabha too met the SSP, demanding arrest of Sahay’s killers.

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