India

Suicide Note Says Scandal Pressure Reason of Batcha’s Death

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

New Delhi: Sadiq Batcha, businessman who apparently committed suicide after being linked to a huge graft scam, left a note saying he killed himself due to the pressure of the scandal, reports say.

Batcha, a business associate and aide to the former telecom minister A. Raja, was found dead in the southern city of Chennai in the latest twist to corruption allegations that have shaken the government.

Raja is under arrest accused of rigging the sale of second-generation (2G) mobile licences in 2008, causing losses of up to $40 billion to the public treasury.

Batcha, 47, was found hanged at his home on Wednesday along with a suicide note saying he “was embarrassed by raids and media limelight over the 2G spectrum scam,” television news channel Headlines Today said.

Police described the note, dated 15 March, as “a long letter written to his family.”

The Press Trust of India news agency quoted police sources confirming the suicide note’s contents.

Raja’s wife was a director of Batcha’s real estate firm, Green House Promoters. She quit in 2008 but a nephew and a brother of the jailed politician remain on the company’s board, according to police.

Batcha’s home and office were raided by investigators two months ago as part of a probe into the scandal.

He was questioned by police for 10 hours in February and his financial records were also examined.

Detectives are looking into allegations that selected firms benefited from the 2G licence bidding rules when Raja was telecom minister.

Police suspect Raja’s associates formed shell companies to collect money from the telecom deals in which licences were sold at cut-price rates.

Billionaire tycoon Anil Ambani and several other business chiefs have also been also quizzed by authorities over the scandal, which could be the biggest corruption case in Indian history.

The 2G sale has caused major embarrassment for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has been accused of turning a blind eye to financial wrong-doing to ensure the survival of his Congress-led coalition government.

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