29 July, 2021

Sooted Up And Up To No Good

D Company has a new target, the rich coal mines of Bengal

Prashant Panjiar
Sooted Up And Up To No Good
Officials at the residence of L.K. Advani recently received a two-page note from a little-known body called the West Bengal Small Consumers Association (WBSCA). It plaintively sought the home minister's intervention to save the state's coal consumers from the stranglehold of the mafia, which it alleged was now controlled by the dreaded Dawood Ibrahim.

The note may have come as a shock to the minister's office, but those associated with Bengal's coal trade have known and dealt with mafia extortion for decades now. And their patience is wearing thin. The state supplies an estimated 600 rakes, or 13.5 lakh tonnes, of coal worth Rs 300 crore a month.

According to the note signed by WBSCA secretary Dilip Pal, D Company is believed to have engaged select operators and traders to take care of the coal business. "For instance, Suresh Singh and Brijesh Singh, both with antecedents leading (sic) to Dawood and accused in many murder cases and also having CBI cases against them in Dhanbad and Uttar Pradesh, have set up a plush office in Kolkata (Essem Marketing (P) Limited,...

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