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Lalu man pleads ignorance

Ranchi, July 16: A vet in Bihar who had a meteoric rise in RJD as MLA and MP in the 1990s but now convicted in three chara ghotala cases and accused in more, R.K. Rana today accepted his closeness with former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad but denied links with the scam.

Recording his one-and-half-hour-long statement related to the case of Rs 84.53 lakh cash withdrawal from Deoghar treasury (RC 64A/96 case) before special CBI court of A.K. Rai, where Rana is a co-accused with Lalu, the former RJD leader gave his version of the events of the 1990s.

In his capacity as general secretary of Bihar Veterinary Doctors’ Association during 1990-94, Rana used to meet Lalu. He joined electoral politics — read RJD — in 1995.

To charges that he acted as a conduit between embezzling babus and his political masters, Rana claimed he came to know about the scam in 1996 when the CBI took over. He denied amassing disproportionate assets as well.