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DGP denies involvement in stamp scam

By Our Staff Reporter

VISAKHAPATNAM, JAN. 21. The Director-General of Police(DGP), S.R. Sukumara, on Wednesday dismissed as a "bunch of lies'' the allegations that he, along with another Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, was involved in the multi-crore stamp paper scam.

He was reacting to reports in a section of the press and the allegation made by the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary, V. Hanumantha Rao, that the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, "is trying to bail me out'' as also the Special Intelligence Bureau DIG, Gautam Sawang.

When his comments were sought on allegations pointing fingers at him and Mr. Sawang, he said that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the Andhra Pradesh Government was going into all angles of the scam.

"It has been given autonomous powers and the SIT will not spare anyone, howsoever big or influential he may be,'' Mr. Sukumara declared.

He admitted that one of the accused policemen, Quadri, had named three or four policemen in the scam and clarified that the SIT had been given a `clear mandate' to investigate the case.

The DGP said that the Inspector, Vijender, who was arrested for his alleged involvement, had not named any senior police officer in the scam.

Backing the plea for entrusting the cases registered in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and AP in connection with the scam to the Central Bureau of Investigation, he said that AP had already issued a GO asking the Home Ministry to entrust the case to the premier investigation agency.

Mr. Sukumara said that the SIT was also probing the clues provided by Tamil Nadu on the relationship of the main accused, Abdul Karim Telgi, with a Tamil woman, Andalu, in Visakhapatnam when he launched his operations, adding that the State Police was the first in the country to arrest Telgi in 1999 in Hyderabad.

More police forces

for polls

The State Police have decided to deploy more forces on election duty and procure 30 bullet-proof cars in view of the threats issued by the People's War (PW) naxalites to disrupt the poll process.

"We are fully geared to provide fool-proof security to all those who have threat perceptions. Though PW threat has been there for several years, this year due to threats issued to the Telugu Desam Party and the BJP leaders, we are taking extra pre-cautions,'' the DGP told reporters here on Wednesday.

Stating that the police had adopted a strategy to counter the PW threat particularly in the affected areas, he said that over the last one and a half month, the PW had been focussing on the Nallamala forests. Mr. Sukumara said that they were also forming counter action teams. The Government had sanctioned 5,000 homeguards, 1,500 men for the AP Special Police and recruitment of retired policemen.

In addition to two battalions of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), three platoons would be deputed to the State to combat PW threat.

Referring to spurt in white-collar crime, he said that a cell headed by an Inspector-General of Police had been set up in the DGP's office in Hyderabad. Owing to high incidence of such cases in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam, the cell would also look into the trend in all the urban areas, he added.

The DGP said that the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) had also agreed to send a team of officials to Hyderabad to train AP policemen next month on specialised investigation skills to nab white-collar criminals.

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