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Assault on SAIL chairman orchestrated by coal mafia: Police

Assault on SAIL chairman orchestrated by coal mafia: Police

New Delhi: The assault on Anil Kumar Chaudhary, Chairman of the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), was purportedly made to look like an incident of road rage, when in fact, it was orchestrated by the coal mafia, according to new details that have emerged during the Delhi Police investigation into the case.

The assailants who rammed Chaudhary's car and then beat him up with iron rods were allegedly paid Rs 6 lakh to assault the SAIL chief and make it look like a case of road rage, by a Delhi-based contractor, AK Singh, who was having a dispute with SAIL.

The Delhi Police Crime Branch arrested Singh on Friday and held him in police custody for three days. DCP Crime, Ram Gopal Naik said that another man called Sunil Balara has also been arrested in connection with the case.

Sources, however, said that Singh had confessed to the conspiracy during his questioning. Singh, a contractor who dealt in coking coal, told investigators that his son had a coking coal company in Sharjah and had struck a Rs 100 crore deal with SAIL in January 2018.

The consignment had arrived from the US and SAIL had rejected the coal samples provided by Singh's son twice. In fact, SAIL had already paid Rs 30 crore in transportation costs before cancelling the deal with the Sharjah-based company and filing a complaint to recover the advance payment.

Senior officials in the know said that this was when Singh conspired to beat Chaudhary up so that he could spend a few months in the hospital. According to Singh, this would lead to SAIL appointing an interim Chairperson, with whom he had hoped to push the deal through.

Singh was produced in a Saket court on Monday, where he was granted bail in the case after spending the last three days in police custody.

On the night of August 7, Chaudhary was attacked by four men who banged into his car near HUDCO Place and demanded compensation. When Chaudhary refused, the men allegedly thrashed him and his driver with iron rods. Chaudhary had at the time suspected that the attack was intentional and registered a complaint.

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