Raigarh: In a startling revelation, RTI activist Ramesh Agrawal, on Thursday, alleged that contract killers were hired to get rid of him, as he was proving to be too much of an impediment for the Jindal Steel and Power Ltd’s ambitious plans in Raigarh. Agrawal said that he was convinced the conspiracy to murder him was hatched by Naveen Jindal.
“They first attempt to buy you; if they don’t succeed, then they threaten you by filing fake cases such as extortion; if they do not succeed again, then they simply kill you,” the RTI activist put it bluntly about Jindals.
Ramesh Agrawal, 56, known for protecting local communities from industrial pollution and displacement due to industrial projects through the Right to Information Act (RTI), was shot at in his office in a congested locality of Raigarh in July this year. Though he miraculously survived the attack, he has been bedridden due to his grievous injuries.
Two bullets had been pumped into Agrawal soon after he was released on bail in what he describes as a fabricated case of extortion. The Jindal group is believed to have fallaciously slapped a Rs 5 crore extortion case against him after the clearance for the JSPL’s Tamnar Power Plant was cancelled by the Ministry of Environment and Forest on his complaint.
The Jindals are believed to have been particularly miffed after coal block allocation to the company in Tamnar had been scrapped by the National Green Tribunal as a result of Agrawal’s crusade.
While four people had been arrested earlier for the shootout, the surrendering of two kingpins in the case has exposed the Jindals completely. One of the accused K K Chopra is the Director of Security of a company by the name SFSS, which provides security to Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, while the other, S N Panigrahi is the Deputy GM of Security in Jindal’s plant in Angul, Orissa.
Ramesh Agrawal asserts that he doesn’t have faith in the Chhattisgarh Police and has requested Chief Minister Raman Singh and Governor Shekhar Dutt to transfer the case to the CBI.
“My fight is on. The people who attacked me were only front men. Jindal is behind the conspiracy. And the guilty should be punished,” Agrawal concluded bravely.
However, JSPL contacted Zee News and denied any involvement in the case.