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Driver's Deathbed Statement Puts Industrialist Anil Nanda In The Dock

New Delhi: The murder of a 41-year-old driver at the Friends Colony residence of industrialist Anil Nanda has taken a disturbing turn, with TV channels  showing the driver, battling for life in hospital, saying while
PTI June 18, 2010 13:24 IST
New Delhi: The murder of a 41-year-old driver at the Friends Colony residence of industrialist Anil Nanda has taken a disturbing turn, with TV channels  showing the driver, battling for life in hospital, saying while he didn't see his assailant, Nanda and his two friends were ‘‘murderous people'' pressuring him to do things he didn't want to do, reports Times of India.

The driver, Janeshwar Sharma, who was first admitted on June 9 in Apollo Hospital with 80% burns and then moved to Safdarjung Hospital, died soon after his statement before the camera.  

Sharma's interview  also shows him claiming that he was forced by Nanda's associates to tail one Vijay Sinha, described by him as Nanda's business partner.

The driver says he protested against the work given to him, but was threatened with dismissal. The police has registered a case of murder, but it is not known whether it has taken cognizance of Sharma's dying statement before camera.  

Moments before his death in Safdarjung Hospital on Thursday , the 41-year-old driver of industrialist Anil Nanda made some starting revelations before a television camera. Though the police have registered a murder case, it hasn't yet questioned Nanda or his associates.

‘‘If I speak the truth, I will not live,'' says the driver on camera before giving details of the espionage work given to him. He also speaks about the allegedly dangerous nature of Nanda, the younger son of industrialist H P Nanda, and the ‘‘bad things'' that allegedly happened at his Friends Colony residence.  

He claims that people are exploited there (he uses the word ‘‘soshan”). showed the driver in hospital bed speaking of gay sex in the house.

He alleged that boys were paid by Nanda for having sex with him.

He also claimed that Nanda forced his employees to have sex with him and if anyone refused, he threatened them with dire consequences. Despite repeated attempts, Anil Nanda was not available for comment.

Sudhir Sood, one of Nanda's employees said, ‘‘We are not aware about any allegations. It was an unfortunate incident. Sharma was a good worker and was working as driver of the escort vehicle of Anil Nanda. We are cooperating with the police in the investigations of the case.''  

He further said that Nanda would not like to comment on the case and he does not deal with the employees directly.

No arrest has been made in this week-old case so far. The driver's family are alleging that the police is under pressure and are not acting against the ‘‘influential accused''.  

Sharma's younger brother Yogesh said: ‘‘The police did not do anything. Despite our repeated requests, my brother's statement was not recorded before a magistrate. My brother had objected to the goings-on at the place where he worked. This cost him his life. He had expressed fear about his and his family's safety.''

On its part, the police said that they were looking at the case from all angles.

They have also received a letter from the driver's family, allegedly written by Janeshwar Sharma himself. The letter has more disturbing details, and the police is checking out its veracity.  

Asked about Sharma naming on camera Nanda and his two employees, Dhiraj Badani and Jitendra Pandey, the police claimed that these three were not present at the spot when petrol was poured on Sharma from behind and he was set alight.

A police officer also said that Sharma had applied for a loan of Rs 3 lakh on June 3 and on June 4 Nanda had turned it down.

Additional CP (south east) Virender Singh Chahal said, ‘‘We have registered a case of murder and are investigating the matter from all possible angles.''

In his statement to the police, Sharma had said that he was asked to tail a business partner of Nanda's, Vijay Sinha. However, he was caught by Sinha and scolded.  

He was asked to confess on whose behalf he was tailing Sinha. The FIR says that to a question asked by the police, Sharma replies: ‘‘It is a long story and I cannot reveal it now.''  

Sharma also added that he didn't see his attacker. The man came from behind, poured petrol on him and set him on fire. This happened at Nanda's bungalow at Friends Colony (west).

While the police is being discreet as it carries out its investigation, an officer said that if the letter written by Sharma turns out to be authentic, the case could take a dramatic turn.