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Pvt contractor held for conspiring to kill SAIL chairman for rejecting 'poor quality' coal

twitter-logoPTI | September 9, 2019 | Updated 20:51 IST

New Delhi, Sep 9 (PTI) Delhi police's crime branch has arrested a private contractor for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to kill the chairman of Steel Authority of India for rejecting "poor quality" coal supplied by his son's US-based company to the PSU, police said on Monday. Ashok Kumar Singh was arrested from his residence in southwest Delhi's Vasant Kunj on Friday, said Ram Gopal Naik, deputy commissioner of police (crime). This is the second arrest by the crime branch since an attack on SAIL chairman Anil Kumar Chaudhary last month on August Kranti Marg when he was on his way to his residence from office, the DCP said. Another five people have been arrested by local police. On August 7, Chaudhary was attacked with iron rods on his head, neck, knees and legs. His driver was left unharmed. The same day, police arrested Singh's associate Sunil Balhara, a property dealer. "Initially, it was suspected to be a case of road rage. However, investigation revealed that it was a planned attack," a senior police officer said. "I have been maintaining my stand that this was not a case of robbery or road rage but a conspiracy to kill me. And it has been proved with their arrest. I am still recovering. I have received internal injuries. It may take a month although I have joined office," the SAIL chairman told PTI over phone. A case under Indian Penal Code sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) has been registered at Hauz Khas police station. According to police, in 2018, a Rs 100-crore deal was signed between SAIL and a US-based company of Singh's son for supplying coal. However, due to "poor quality", the sample was rejected by SAIL at least twice, police said. Police said SAIL had paid the first installment of Rs 30 crore but dissatisfied with the quality of coal sample supplied, the deal was later cancelled by the PSU. Upset over the repeated rejection of samples, Singh decided to extract take revenge on Chaudhary, police added. Singh and Balhara hatched a conspiracy to eliminate Chaudhary and show it as road rage. Balhara acted as a facilitator and fixed the deal at Rs 6 lakh to kill Chaudhary, police said. The assailants were paid Rs 2 lakh as advance to complete the contract. Balhara also roped in his brother-in-law Satyendra, alias Chutku, and paid Rs 2 lakh to him, police added. Satyendra then paid the amount to the assailants, police said, adding they are probing the case. PTI AMP PR ABH ABH

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