Sadiq Batcha, the man who knew too much about the intricacies of the 2G Spectrum scam money trail into suspected front companies of former union telecom minister A Raja, allegedly committed suicide on Wednesday morning at his house in Central Chennai, shortly before he was to leave for Delhi for questioning by the CBI. According to Chennai police commissioner T Rajendran said Batcha is reported to have committed suicide. His family members found him hanging in his bed room of his house in Tenyampet area of Central Chennai, close to the DMK headquarters. A cloud of suspicion hangs over his alleged suicide as he was the closest and trusted aide of Raja and was in the know of all his transactions and activities, since his days as the minister of state for rural development in the Vajpayee council of ministers in 1999.
While Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, the applicant on 2G Spectrum scam in the Supreme Court raised questions about the suicide theory, political commentator Cho Ramaswamy said that there was no reason for him to commit suicide. “I am positive there is some foulplay,” he said commenting on the sudden death of the key link in the 2G spectrum scam. Asking the CBI to probe all angles, Subramanian Swamy hoped that all the witnesses and accused in the 2G scam be provided security as the reputation of several big names was involved.
The police, though tightlipped, do not rule out foul play and are awaiting the post-mortem report after Batcha’s body was shifted from Appolo Hospital to the Government hospital at Royapettah in the afternoon. The post-mortem report is expected late in the evening. Doctors at Appolo Hospital declared Batcha dead on arrival. Heavy police presence barricaded the hospital during the time his body was there. Batcha’s relatives were present inside the hospital.
Tamil Nadu government, sources said, was contemplating handing over investigations into Sadiq Batcha’s sudden death to the CBI. The sudden death of Batcha has come at a time when he was booked for an afternoon flight to Delhi to face CBI interrogation on Thursday amid reports that he might turn an approver.
Batcha, a longtime friend and associate of Raja, was mentioned by DB Realty managing director Shahid Balwa as his link to Raja, and is said to have known every activity. In fact, he was the managing director of a real estate company, Green House Promoters, in which Raja’s wife Parameswari was associated as one of the directors and later resigned. Raja’s brother A Kariyaperumal and his nephew A Parameswaran were also associated with the Green House Promoters, floated in 2007 with an initial investment of Rs 1 lakh and grew into a multi-crore company within few years. In the first year of operations alone, it reported a turnover of Rs 70 crore.
Batcha began his life as a door-to-door salesman of sarees in Perambulur, the hometown of Raja, and later associated with him and had graduated onto selling plots to people who found jobs in the Gulf. He came very close to Raja by 1998 when Raja became DMK district secretary and after he became a junior minister at the Centre in the BJP led NDA government his fortunes began to soar.