Don dares the `Babus`

Updated: Apr 21, 2008, 00:00 AM IST

D N Singh

A secretly recorded video clip of an interview of Raja Acharya, the prime accused in Biranchi Das murder case, has once again brought into focus the nexus between dons and babus. It reveals that moles are not only present in the police force, but also in the bureaucracy. It also makes clear that the probe cannot be complete by focusing merely on the Raja-Leslie episode for which Biranchi was allegedly targetted by the don.

Speaking from an undisclosed location, the don charged one senior IAS officer of the state for hatching a conspiracy against him in close league with the video album actor Leslie Tripathy, her father, Biranchi Das and another man called Jubli Sunderay. They had threatened him with dire consequences if he did not refrain from tarnishing Leslie’s image.

Acharya has named the IAS officer. He alleged that a group of five had even summoned his younger brother (now in jail) a few days back to Biranchi Das` Judo Centre and threatened him that if Raja did not stop from maligning Leslie, they would finish the don`s entire family.

Raja has expressed fears that Biranchi’s murder could be the handiwork of the said IAS officer. This is one of the possible constructions to Biranchi’s murder.

Another possibility that needs to be looked into is Raja’s alleged involvement in land brokering. He had played a key role for many top officials in the bureaucracy. He had also reportedly obliged IPS cadres by making land available to them at a cheaper price.

From a travel agency business to land brokering and real estate investment, Raja seems to have had his finger in every pie, sought after by the high and mighty. It may not surprise many in the state that quite a number of our bureaucrats are land-grabbers in one way or another. And Raja was within the ambit of some.

Raja appears to be a man who cannot be tamed easily. But the question here is - What brought the slain judo exponent Biranchi into the episode? The IAS officer in question is the key adviser in the Judo Centre of which Biranchi was the main custodian. It goes without saying that, the proximity between them was too close for comfort. Going by media reports, Das was somehow dragged into the Leslie scene as a moderator to defuse the enemity of the latter with the don. Rumours are doing the rounds that Biranchi was in the know of many things about the land issues which might have prompted those involved to view him as their Achilles’ heel.

The police seems to be in such a state of frustration that a section among the cops would not hesitate to finish off the don to prevent him from opening the can of worms. But he holds the key to the whole mystery. His interrogation by an impartial police team can bring out many things which have been swept under the carpet. Perhaps, now is the time for the Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, who holds the Home portfolio, to wake up and try to see the bitter reality and act accordingly. Just a probe by the Lokpal, as he intended, would be seen as an exercise in vain.