Monday, Nov 24, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Mr. Tinaikar, who is here on a private visit, said the illegal proceeds from the racket had been given to support terrorist and anti-national activities and therefore registering cases against the principal accused, Abdul Karim Telgi, and others under the Karnataka Stamp Act, as the State Government had done, was not enough. It was only a CBI investigation that would unravel the truth specially since the racket was not limited to one State, he said.
Talking to The Hindu, Mr. Tinaikar, who now runs a marketing agency in Khanapur, and earlier was part of a family hotel business at Khanapur station, said it was the buying spree of immovable property at prices much higher than the market price in the town by Telgi on his return after sudden disappearance for a few years that aroused his suspicion as Telgi was leading a hand-to-mouth existence earlier. Mr. Tinaikar said he had written to the President and also the Income Tax authorities about the new wealth acquired by Telgi, but there was no encouraging response from them. It was only seven years later that Telgi had been arrested. But unlike in Maharashtra, where cases had been filed under the Maharashtra Organised Crime (Control) Act and two MLAs arrested, neither had cases been filed under a similar Act nor politicians arrested in the State. A number of Ministers were involved, he said.
The fake stamp paper business was still on in Congress-ruled States as was clear from the arrest of people involved and seizure of material while it had come to an end in States such as Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat where the investigation had been handed over to the CBI, Mr. Tinaikar said.
Though the CBI had estimated the racket involved Rs.30, 000 crore, it was more than Rs.1 lakh crore, Mr. Tinaikar said. He denied that he was supporter of BJP, and said he did not belong to any party.
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