Akhilesh wary of CBI sand­storm against Chan­drakala IAS

The Sunday Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - SHANTANU GUHA RAY

NOIDA, UT­TAR PRADESH

India’s sand mafia is wounded, but not fa­tally. And fin­gers are be­ing pointed at Bhukya Chan­drakala, a 38-year-old bu­reau­crat, who was once de­scribed by her friends and col­leagues as Miss Clean. Many called her Fe­male Dab­bang, the ti­tle bor­rowed from a Salman Khan block­buster re­volv­ing around an hon­est cop. There are enough sto­ries about Chan­drakala float­ing in the cor­ri­dors of gov­ern­ment of­fices in Ut­tar Pradesh about the way she would scream in anger if some­one tried to bribe her at of­fice or home. And how she rou­tinely took on in­flu­en­tial politi­cians and cash-rich cor­po­rate cap­tains keen to break rules, and sleazy cops seeking du­bi­ous cash. Chan­drakala told ev­ery­one she never tol­er­ates cor­rup­tion.

And then she had a fall like the prover­bial Humpty Dumpy. Now, many are say­ing her high talks were a mere smoke­screen. Chan­drakala worked like a Silent Bud­dha, who sees all but does not re­act, al­most like the silent char­ac­ter from Leo Tol­stoy’s epic story, God Sees The Truth But Waits. Chan­drakala, claim of­fi­cers of the Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (CBI), knew ev­ery­thing, rarely ar­gued about some­thing, and let hap­pen many things. Chan­drakala is be­ing charged by the premier in­ves­ti­gat­ing agency for her al­leged in­volve­ment in the bil­lion-dollar il­le­gal sand min­ing busi­ness. Last week, the CBI of­fi­cers raided a num­ber of places across Ut­tar Pradesh, in­clud­ing Chan­drakala’s res­i­dence; whirring tele­vi­sion cam­eras cap­tured images of her es­tranged hus­band, A. Ra­mulu, try­ing to evade pesky re­porters.

For the last cou­ple of years, state gov­ern­ments of both Ut­tar Pradesh and Mad­hya

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