Fix Kerala politicians behind defence deals: CPI-M

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 29 (IANS) The CBI should "fix" politicians behind alleged corrupt deals between suppliers and ordnance factories in Kerala, former CPI-M chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan said Tuesday.

"The CBI has already named few officials and a Mumbai-based agent Subi Mally. Now they should see who are the political leaders behind this deal," teh Marxist leader told reporters here and also called for a probe by the state vigilance.

Mally, an alleged intermediary between suppliers and ordnance factories, presented herself Jan 22 before the CBI, which is probing irregularities in the tendering process for procurement of goods.

"This is a serious issue because poor quality steel has been given to defence factories to make equipment...and both the CBI and the vigilance should unearth who are the others behind this commission deal," reiterated Achuthanandan.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) unit here has already booked two senior officials of a Kerala state public sector undertaking here. M. Shanavas, managing director, and Valsan, a senior manager of Steel and Industrial Forgings Ltd. (SIFL) are the officials who have already been questioned and listed as accused by the CBI.

The CBI has documents which show that a commission of Rs.1.8 million changed hands in the deal and the agency Tuesday opened the bank locker of Shanavas in Kochi in his presence.

The first information report filed (FIR) by the CBI here mentions that certain people tried to manipulate the SIFL supply to the ordnance factory at Medak near Hyderabad and also to another defence establishment in Chennai.

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