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|September 15, 1997||
Union home ministry denies interfering in Tata Tea case
The Union home ministry on Monday strongly denied that it was interfering in the probe being conducted by the Assam state police regarding funding of United Liberation Front of Asom militants by Tata Tea.
A ministry's official spokesman said that Home Secretary K Padmanabhaiah, in his telephonic talks with the state director-general of police, had tried to ascertain details regarding the alleged funding by the Tatas of the medical and other expenses in connection with the treatment of Pranati Deka, "cultural secretary" of ULFA.
Deka and an associate were arrested in Bombay on August 23 and shifted to Guwahati on August 31. The state police did not submit any report to the Union ministry regarding Deka after her arrest .
The spokesman said that senior executives of the Tatas called on the home minister on September 10, but the ministry had no official report with it.
Since the Tata Sons chairman had also sought an appointment with the home secretary, it was essential to get authentic information from the state government. As the chief secretary was not available, the Union home secretary sought information from the director-general of police to know the progress of investigation, the spokesman said.
The spokesman denied that any suggestion was ever made to the state police that the interrogation of the Tata officials should be stopped, as reported in a section of the press. On the other hand, the director-general was asked to do a thorough job of the investigations.
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