Whistleblower claims cops want cash to protect him

Whistleblower Alam Pasha, who exposed the land scam pertaining to Global Investors' Meet, says he has
no faith in the police department.

After exposing Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani's involvement in fabricating documents and grabbing 26 acres of land, Pasha, who was one among the group of businessmen which took part in the investors' meet last year, filed a complaint against the minister with the Lokayukta.

The highlighted portion of the document shows that the police department asked whistleblower Alam Pasha to deposit money for police protection

Shortly after, he began receiving threats, and as the callers continued to mount the pressure, he approached the police for protection. However, a dismayed Pasha was asked to deposit a certain amount of money in return for protection.

Illegal gains
The complaint related to denotification and acquisition of land through fraudulent means, had named the minister (main accused), his brother H R Nirani and seven others.

The special Lokayukta court handed over the probe to the Lokayukta police on October 24 and Lokayukta City Superintendent of Police Shivashankar will head investigations. 

In his complaint with the special court, Pasha alleged that the minister had floated companies like MRN Sugars and Power Limited, Vijayashree Sugar and Power Private Limited, Sai Priya Sugars Limited, Shakti Steels and Power Industries Limited, Nirani Cements and Nirani Sugars.

He alleged that the companies have been allocated 1,580 acres at the Global Investors Meet though none of the companies were operational. These companies, according to Pasha, are also said to have raised a project loan of Rs 500 crore from different banks by showing inflated net worth.

Nirani is accused of denotifying 20 acres at Hoovinayakanahalli, causing a loss of Rs 15 crore to the state exchequer and also charged with denotifying 150 acres at Kengelkempohalli, Averhalli, Chandhanavasahalli and other villages in the Dobbespet industrial area of Nelamangala taluk, near Tumkur.

This is believed to have caused a Rs 200-crore loss to the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB), which had already spent a considerable amount of money on developing infrastructure in the area.

"I began receiving serious threats asking me to keep my mouth shut, hence I approached the City Police Commissioners Office. But I am saddened by the fact that they are asking for money to protect me. I was fighting against the corrupt system in the interest of the public and to save the state exchequers.
If Anna Hazare can be given protection, then even I am entitled to the same. Also, I even know where these threats are coming from," Pasha said.

Senior advocate S Shankarappa of the Karnataka High Court said, "Any person who faces a threat to life is entitled to police protection and does not have to pay for it if he is working towards a public cause.

"In the case of Pasha, he has exposed a scam involving the government exchequer and corruption. He should be extended cover without any rules imposed." The threats have prompted Pasha to send his family members to a safe place in Tamil Nadu.

When the scam made headlines, the Murugesh Nirani camp alleged that Pasha was doing every thing for cheap publicity. MiD DAY went over the records of Pasha's five-year long fight against the system.

Crusade against corruption
Pasha petitioned in the HC of Karnataka against Gutka companies, which make money at the cost of public health. He even made got the Union Government as party in his petition, and is waiting for the latest interim order.

He appealed to the state government to pass an order to the city police commissioner in 2010, to take action against some members of eunuch community, who were harassing travellers at various bus stops and traffic signals. The police department sent the eunuchs back to their hometowns in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

He also wanted to ensure the arrest and conviction of Deputy Manager, to State Bank Of Mysore, C R Rajendra Babu, who swindled almost Rs 10 crore from the provident fund of the public and circulated it amongst various builders. These are a few of the whistleblowers endeavors among others.

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