News: Govt staff commits suicide after being summoned by CBI for questioning

PUDUCHERRY: A government staff, summoned by the CBI on Wednesday in connection with an alleged scam in Puducherry police department relating to purchase of 2,000 helmets for the police force, committed suicide in the wee hours of Thursday.

Police said Pushparaj (39), who served as a superintendent of budget and housing in the office of the Inspector General of Police, was summoned by the CBI officials along with sub-inspector Dominic for an inquiry on Wednesday in connection with an alleged Rs 20 lakh scam in the purchase of helmets for police force.

He reached Puducherry at 1 am on Thursday after appearing before a CBI team in Chennai. He retired for the day at 4 a.m. after briefing his wife P Uma about the inquiry. However, he was found dead, hanging from a ceiling fan in the store room by his wife. The Orleanpet police registered a case and began investigations.

Meanwhile Federation of People’s Rights secretary G Sugumaran in a statement issued on Thursday alleged that police officials threatened Pushparaj on several occasions not to reveal the truth to the CBI. He has now sought a CBI inquiry into Pushparaj’s suicide.

The allegation is that the then SP (headquarters) N Ramachandran had placed an order on March 31, 2009 with a Chennai-based sports goods supplier Lakshmi Agencies for supply of 2,000 helmets at a cost of Rs 20 lakh under Rs three crore-fund allocated for modernisation of police force for the year 2008-09. However, the police department never received the helmets and the CBI was intimated about the misappropriation of funds.

CBI began investigation and undertook surprise raids at the residences and offices of the SP (headquarters) in June this year. The team also raided the Puducherry branch of Chennai-based sports goods supplier and sources claimed that the team seized vital documents pertaining to the case.

The Times of India / 06.11.2009

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