The alleged ‘Essar protection money case’ headed for some revealing turns on Tuesday with the main accused BK Lala, Bastar based contractor who allegedly delivered money to Maoists, willing to turn approver if the Government granted him immunity in the case.
Lala, who is already out on bail, on Tuesday filed an application in the court of Additional District Judge (ADJ), Dantewada, offering to become Government approver. BK Lala and journalist-turned-activist Lingaram Kodopi, a tribal youth, were held on September 10 last year from Palnar village weekly market when Lingaram Kodopi was allegedly receiving `15 lakh from BK Lala. The money was reportedly intended to be delivered to two Maoists Raghu and Vinod belonging to Darbha divisional committee of CPI-ML. Later, Essar general manager DVCS Verma was also arrested on charges of paying protection money to Red insurgents for allowing the company reopen its 267-km long iron ore slurry pipeline running from Kirandul in Dantewada of Chhattisgarh to Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh as the Maoists blew it up at several places.