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Was Batcha 'removed' to save 2G culprits?

Last updated on: March 16, 2011 15:19 IST

Was Batcha 'removed' to save 2G culprits?

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Vicky Nanjappa

Sadiq Batcha, a key aide of former telecom minister A Raja, is said to have committed suicide at his residence in Chennai on Wednesday.

Currently the police are seeing this as a case of suicide, but they do not rule out foul play either.

Ever since Raja's arrest, there was immense pressure on Batcha, who, according to the Central Bureau of Investigation, was the key aide of the former minister.

The promoter of a real estate company named Greenhouse Developers, Batcha was scheduled to leave for New Delhi on Wednesday.

The investigation by the Central Bureau of investigation alleges that Greenhouse was the front company belonging to Raja, and all the money earned through the 2G spectrum scam was parked in various places through this company.

The investigations have also shown that Batcha handled all the money which came into Raja's hand. It was also found that he had invested money in a lot of real estate projects in Tamil Nadu.

Today there is no reason for the police to believe that it could have been a case of murder as well. Batcha had with him too much information and he was the man who would have given CBI the exact map of the 2G money trail.

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Image: Sadiq Batcha is taken away from his residence for questioning by CBI after a raid in Chennai on December 8, 2010
Photographs: Babu/Reuters
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Sources say that even if it was a case of suicide, it could have been due to the immense pressure since the CBI was also looking into the underworld and the hawala link to the money trail in the multi-crore 2G scam.

It is said that Batcha was the link between the 2G money and also the underworld and the hawala operators.

The CBI, which has raided Batcha's house on two occasions, was all set to question him in connection with the money trail.

Moreover, the CBI had also decided to arrest Batcha and question him in custody.

This was something that none of those involved in the money trail could have afforded, since it would have blown the lid of many persons connected with the scam.

Sources say that at any cost the persons involved wanted to prevent any questioning of Batcha and could have stepped up the pressure on him. The police would verify his call records to see if there were any death threats which ultimately led to the suicide of Batcha.

The CBI during its probe had found that Raja had many fronts through which the 2G money was parked. However, all aspects of the probe showed that it was the firm managed by Batcha which had played the most crucial role.

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Image: Television cameramen fight for space outside the residence of Sadiq Batcha during a CBI raid in Chennai
Photographs: Babu/Reuters
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Sources say that Batcha was just a front man and did not take any decision on his own. He was brought into the picture due to his contacts that he had built up when he was a realtor.

He is alleged to have contacts with hawala operators and also the underworld through which he had managed to park funds in various places.

The CBI questioning of Batcha would have led them to the route of the money trail. In addition to this, they were also trying to find out if Batcha had parked any money for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

Investigators say his death is a big blow to the investigation since it was extremely important that this man was questioned since he knew the exact details regarding the money trail as he had played a huge part in it.

 


Image: Former telecom minister A Raja
Photographs: Reuters
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