CBI interrogates Laloo Prasad in fodder scam case
Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal
president Laloo Prasad Yadav was interrogated on Monday for nine hours by the Central
Bureau of Investigation in connection with the Rs 10 billion
animal husbandry department, alias fodder, scam.
The CBI team, led by Joint Director (east) U N Biswas,
examined Yadav's role in the scam at the Valmik Guest House on
the outskirts of Patna. The CBI team included the agency's
Dhanbad superintendent of police, Rakesh Asthana.
Yadav was quizzed by CBI sleuths on the basis of evidence,
including one collected from Ranchi which showed scam
kingpin S B Sinha as the uncle and the local guardian
of the chief minister's children.
Yadav was also asked about the air tickets which were
allegedly purchased by the animal husbandry department suppliers and which had been entered
in the book of accounts of one J P Verma, an employee of Indian Airlines and
supplier in the animal husbandry department. The
books of accounts were seized by the CBI from Patliputra Travels
Yadav was also asked to indicate his stand about the lapses
committed by the finance department in detecting the excess
withdrawals made by the AHD officials and for not initiating
steps to plug holes through which public money was siphoned off from
different treasuries in the state.
Yadav's interrogation was the last in CBI's agenda before it
prepares and submits its progress report to the Patna high court on
The Patna high court, which is monitoring the scam investigation, had
repeatedly asked the CBI to delve into the conspiracy aspect of the
fodder scam saying that the scam, which was worth more than Rs 10 billion,
would not have taken place without the tacit
support of senior officials in the political system and the
The agency has so far interrogated almost all the senior
bureaucrats related with the department and politicians whose names
had figured in the documents collected by it in course of its over
nine-month-long scam investigation.
Prominent among those examined by the CBI in connection with the
scam included former chief minister
Dr Jagannath Mishra, federal minister Chandradeo Prasad Verma, state
Planning Minister Tulsi Singh, state Agriculture Minister Ramjivan
Singh, state Animal Husbandry Minister Bhola Ram Toofani, state Chief
Secretary A K Basak, and state Development Commissioner Phoolchand
Besides, a horde of legislators, former ministers of the
animal husbandry department, a former chairman of the Public
Accounts Committee, and senior officers of the Indian Administrative
Service and Indian Police Service have been questioned.
The CBI, in the course of its investigation, had arrested scam kingpin
and former regional director of the animal husbandry department
S B Sinha, regional director (Ranchi) K M Prasad, Janata Dal
legislator R K Rana, Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Dhruv Bhagat,
Congress legislator Jagdish Sharma, and animal
husbandry department suppliers including
Tripurarimohan Prasad, Vijay Mallick, Mohammad Sayeed, and Dayanand Kashyap.
Sources said that agency sleuths arrested hawala operator and major
supplier Dipesh Chandok from Asansol in West Bengal
Earlier, a week-long interrogation of Chandok was carried out by agency
officials in which vital information was collected from
him in connection with the scam.
The CBI, during its raids in Calcutta, Patna, and Ranchi at Chandok's
home and offices, had recovered several
documents regarding investments made by the fodder scamsters. A
computer floppy was recovered which, after decoding, revealed the
identity of several companies run by Chandok and his family.
The CBI had also come across the payments through cheques made by
Chandok to scam kingpin S B Sinha.