Gutka scam: Former Chennai Police Commissioner George wrote to Principal Secretary demanding probe in 2016


Highlights

  • 1

    George wrote to Principal Secretary about gutka scam and demanded probe in 2016.

  • 2

    George, TK Rajendran and Health Minister Vijayabhaskar are in the middle of the ‘gutka scam’.

  • 3

    They were allegedly paid Rs 40 crore to allow the sale of these banned products in the state.

Tamil Nadu Assembly was shaken by DMK’s war cry seeking a debate over reports of a ‘gutka scam’ involving top cops and health minister. Yet a letter from former Chennai Police Commissioner S George to Principal Secretary claims to play a different tune.

Former Chennai Police Commissioner George, TK Rajendran and Health Minister Vijayabhaskar are in the middle of the ‘gutka scam’ whereby Rs 40 crore was allegedly paid to them to allow the sale of these banned products in the state. On 8th May, then Chief Minister Jayalalitha banned the sale of gutka across the State using the Food Safety and Standards of India Act, 2006.

The alleged letter written by then Commissioner S George to the Principal Secretary claimed that he was aware of the illegal manufacturing and sale of the banned gutka/maava and also claimed that certain senior cops were also involved in it.

As per the letter, George is also seen tentatively explaining as to which jurisdiction it falls under and who could allegedly be the police officers involved in the scam. Yet the letter also had raised too many frivolous questions.

 

Commissioner George had allegedly wrote this letter on December 22nd, a day after I-T raids were conducted at then Chief Secretary Rama Mohana Rao’s residence and office. Though, no direct connection was found, Rama Mohana Rao infamously questioned about how breach of secrets occurred when I-T department officials entered his office. “Do you know what is inside my office? Many secrets of the government including many complaints and criminal case over top bureaucrats and the following investigation details are in there,” he said probably to emphasize the importance of his office or maybe to use “If I go down, you go down”, policy.

Based on George’s letter, an investigation was also initiated upon officers, but some top cops also claim that the alleged letter paved the way for many top cops to escape from the probe as well.

Though the ban curbed the sale of the products in the state, it did not completely stop its sale. Many production units were active in north Chennai, near Red Hills. Occasionally, raids were conducted in such factories, but the sale of gutka never declined. During one such raid on 7th July, 2016, officials had allegedly acquired a set of documents which had details of money given as payment for top officials including top ranking police officers and Health Minister Vijayabhaskar. The issue broke out once again as details of the report leaked to the media.

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