Activist's murder: CBI raids infra firm in Pune

Activist's murder: CBI raids infra firm in Pune
Pune: Construction firm IRB Infrastructure, a subsidiary of Ideal Road Builders (IRB) which has been controversially linked to BJP president Nitin Gadkari's Purti Group, was raided by the CBI today in Pune. The CBI is probing possible connections between IRB Infrastructure and the murder of right to information activist Satish Shetty.

Mr Shetty was killed in January 2010 outside his home in Talegaon, 30 km from Pune. Two months before he was suspected murdered, Mr Shetty had filed a complaint with the Pune Police's Crime Branch alleging a land scam involving Virendra Dattatreya Mhaiskar, chairman and managing director of IRB. He had said in his complaint that IRB Infrastructure and a subsidiary company were using fake documents to grab government land, totalling up to 1,200 acres. It was contracted to build a township off the Mumbai-Pune expressway.

Mr Mhaiskar has been named in the FIR after Mr Shetty's death by his brother Sandeep.

The police had arrested two people who they called gangsters and claimed that the killing of Mr Shetty had been solved. Mr Shetty's family contested this and went to the high court alleging that the police are trying to shield some influential people. The court handed the case over the Central Bureau of Investigation, which took over in September 2010 also got permission to conduct polygraph or lie detector tests on Mr Mhaiskar, some of his associates as well as a few police officers involved in the initial prob.

Though the result of the polygraph test have been kept confidential, sources have told NDTV that the CBI has found some evidence of the police trying to hush up the case.

IRB Infrastructure Developers allegedly gave a large loan to the BJP chief's Purti Group in return for contracts that Mr Gadkari gave to the company as Maharashtra public works minister in the 1990s.