ANDHRA PRADESH

Feverish speculation over MLA's arrest

HYDERABAD Sept. 6. Is it a multi-crore fake stamp papers scam or mafia connection or some other illegal transaction? Wild guessing is going on about the possible reasons of the former Minister and Himayathnagar TDP MLA, C. Krishna Yadav's arrest by the Pune police.

The news came as a big jolt to the city police who are already feeling the pressure in the last few weeks trying to unravel the alleged ISI modules and Hyderabad being the "safe haven" to perpetrators of the Mumbai blasts and Akshardham temple attack.

Mr. Krishna Yadav's arrest spread like wild fire on Saturday evening and various rumours began doing rounds even as the local police remained tight-lipped about the reasons.

The Pune police reportedly stumbled upon the former Minister's connection after they "taped a telephonic conversation allegedly between him and those connected with the fake stamp papers scam."

``That by itself does not appear to be a serious reason for the arrest of an MLA, which actually requires permission of the Assembly Speaker,'' a senior police officer said. Unless there was concrete evidence, the police from other States would not have been permitted to arrest a legislator, he observed.

Unlike the ongoing debate over the city's link with the Mumbai blasts and the Akshardham attack, the fake stamp papers racket had "clear link with Hyderabad.''

The alleged kingpin, Karim, along with 36 others were arrested by the Begumbazar police in Hyderabad on August 13, 1999. Fake treasury stamps worth Rs. 3.2 crores and duplicate rubber stamps of various Government offices were seized from them.

Special adhesive stamps, foreign bill stamps, insurance stamps and share transfer stamps, which were used for agreements between financial institutions, banks and other parties were being procured from Mumbai. About six modules of Karim were reported from across the country.

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