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CBI gets 5-day custody of ex-minister’s wife Manoranjana in Saradha scam

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www.indianexpress.com

NewsGram Staff Writer

Kolkata: A city court on Thursday sent Manoranjana , the estranged wife of Congress leader Matang Sinh, to CBI custody for five day for her alleged involvement in the Saradha scam.

Manoranjana, along with Kolkata-based entrepreneur and chairman of the now-defunct Xenitis Group, Santanu Ghosh, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday for their alleged complicity in the multi-crore-rupee ponzi.

Rejecting their bail plea, the court sent the duo to CBI custody till October 13.

According to the CBI, they were “involved in a criminal conspiracy with Saradha group head and scam kingpin Sudipta Sen and misappropriated huge amounts running into crores of rupees”.

The CBI had arrested Matang Sinh in January and charge-sheeted him for several offenses including cheating and criminal conspiracy.

The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate had since 2014 been grilling Manoranjana who, along with many other high-profile names, has been accused of complicity in the scam by Sudipta Sen in his 2013 tell-all letter to the CBI.

Manoranjana, a former journalist, had allegedly sold her shares in an audio-visual channel to the Saradha Group.

She had also purportedly taken Sen to the lawyer-wife of a former union minister for settling a deal, Sen claimed in the letter.

Santanu Ghosh, said to have made several business transactions with the tainted group, was arrested in June 2014 by the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

He was subsequently granted bail in August last year by a city court.

(With inputs from IANS)

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IRCTC Scam: Enforcement Directorate Summons Tejashwi, Rabri

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Rabri Devi, Former CM of Bihar. Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 20: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday summoned RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav and in IRCTC Scam, connection with the alleged irregularities in a 2006 IRCTC hotels maintenance contract case, an official said.

An ED official, confirming the dates of the summons, told IANS: “We have summoned Tejashwi and Rabri Devi on October 24 and 27 respectively.”

He said Rabri Devi, who is also a former Bihar Chief Minister had asked the financial probe agency to question her in Patna. “We denied her request to question her in Patna and asked her to appear before the agency on October 27,” he said. Rabri Devi has already skipped the agency’s summons four times.

The agency had questioned fromer Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav on October 10, for over nine hours in connection with alleged IRCTC Scam.

Earlier, Lalu Prasad and Tejashwi were questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for hours in connection with the case on October 5 and 6 respectively.

The ED, on July 27, had registered a separate case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act following the CBI FIR in the matter and began probing Lalu Prasad and others for alleged transfer of money through shell companies.

The CBI, on July 5, had filed a corruption case against Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav for alleged irregularities in the allotment of contracts for Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, IRCTC Scam in Ranchi and Puri in 2006 to a private firm when the RJD chief was the Railway Minister.

The contracts were given to Sujata Hotels, a company owned by Vijay and Vinay Kochhar — both named in the CBI FIR as accused — in lieu of a bribe in the form of a three-acre commercial plot at a prime location in Bihar’s Patna district, the CBI said.

A preliminary CBI inquiry found the land was sold by the Kochhars to Delight Marketing Company and the payment was arranged through Ahluwalia Contractors and its promoter Bikramjeet Singh Ahluwalia, another accused. The ED has since also questioned Ahluwalia.

Delight Marketing, which bought the property from the Kochhars, was later taken over by Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav, alleges the CBI.

Sarla Gupta, wife of the RJD chief’s close associate and former Union Minister Prem Chand Gupta and a director of Delight Marketing, is a co-accused in the case, apart from then IRCTC Managing Director P.K. Goel.(IANS)

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IRCTC Hotels Corruption Case: Lalu Prasad Appears in CBI Head Quarters for Questioning

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RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav appeared before CBI in an investigation on IRCTC Corruption Case. ians

New Delhi, Oct 5: RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Thursday appeared before the CBI here in response to join the investigation into alleged irregularities in the IRCTC Hotels Corruption case.

Lalu Prasad appeared at the Central Bureau of Investigation headquarters on Lodhi Road at around 11.30 a.m. “His questioning has started,” CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal told IANS.

The CBI on September 26 issued fresh summons — the third in a month — to the RJD chief and his son Tejashwi Yadav in the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp contract case.

The CBI move comes after Lalu Prasad and Tejashwi Yadav skipped two earlier summons.

The CBI on July 5 filed a case for alleged IRCTC Hotels Corruption against Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav. The allotment of contracts for IRCTC hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006 to a private firm when the RJD chief was the Railway Minister.

The contracts were given to Sujata Hotels, a company owned by Vijay and Vinay Kochhar in lieu of bribe in the form of a plot of prime land in Bihar, the CBI said.

A preliminary CBI inquiry found that the said land was sold by the Kochhars to Delight Marketing and payment was arranged through Ahluwalia Contractors and its promoter Bikramjeet Singh Ahluwalia.

The Enforcement Directorate has questioned Ahluwalia.

The ED had on July 27 registered a separate case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act following the CBI FIR and was probing Lalu Prasad and others for alleged transfer of money through shell companies.(IANS)

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Inside ‘Pitaji’ Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s ‘Gufa’, ‘Pardon’ meant Rape

Sadhvis of the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect were forced to seek 'mafi' (pardon) from its chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. The 'mafi' turned out to be rape.

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DSS chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. IANS

Chandigarh, September 8, 2017 : Female disciples or ‘sadhvis’ of the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect were forced to seek ‘mafi’ (pardon) from its chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, at his whims and fancies. For those who did not know what ‘mafi’ meant, it turned to be rape by the man whom they considered their god.

These gory details have emerged in the judgment which recently convicted Ram Rahim for the rape of two female disciples in 1999.

The DSS chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who turned 50 last month, was sentenced by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court judge Jagdeep Singh to 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment — 10 years for each count of rape.

Investigations by the CBI, as quoted in the judgment, describe a ‘gufa’ (cave) of the accused inside the sprawling 600-acre campus of the DSS sect near Sirsa town in Haryana.

One of the rape victims told the court and the CBI that she heard of the word ‘mafi’ from other sadhvis.

“The other sadhvis used to ask her (Victim A) as to whether ‘pitaji’ (father, as Ram Rahim is referred to by his followers) had granted ‘mafi’ to her or not, but at that time she did not understand the meaning of the word. When she used to ask from them as to what was the meaning of ‘mafi, they used to laugh at her,” the judgment, quoting the statement of one of the rape victims, said.

It was on the night of August 28, 1999, that the victim was taken by DSS ashram in-charge Sudesh to the ‘gufa’ of the self-styled godman. The victim gave details of what happened inside the gufa and how she was raped by the person whom she considered her god.

The victim said that Ram Rahim told her that she had become ‘apavitar’ (unholy) because of her past deeds and that he was going to purify her. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was watching a porn film when the victim entered his room, even had a pistol on the bed to intimidate her. After committing the rape, he warned her against relating the incident to anyone, failing which she and her family would be eliminated.

The same victim was again raped by the sect chief after a year.

Almost a similar modus operandi was adopted while committing rape on Victim-B in September 1999.

The CBI investigation revealed that out of the 133 sadhvis residing in two hostels of the DSS campuses, 24 had left during 1997-2002. The CBI, which was entrusted the inquiry into happenings at the DSS campus after an anonymous letter of rape and sexual exploitation of sadhvis by the sect chief emerged in 2002, could trace only 18 sadhvis who had faced exploitation during their stay.

“Both the prosecutrix, i.e. prosecutrix-A and prosecutrix-B, have stood like rocks and credibility of these witnesses/victims could not be impeached despite very lengthy cross-examination and they have consistently deposed that they were ravished by the accused while residing in the Dera campus,” the 167-page conviction judgment noted. (IANS)