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May 27, 2011 at 08:33pm IST

Tapuriah reveals Hasan Ali's political links

Mumbai: Hasan ali's co-accused in the money laundering case Kashinath Tapuriah had earlier told Enforcement Directorate (ED) interrogators about Ali's political connections in an interview to CNN-IBN.

The 74-year-old Kolkata-based businessman has now claimed Hasan Ali has links to many more politicians - Renuka Choudhary and Suresh Kalmadi from the Congress to former Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Prada.

The 12 statements of Tapuriah that have been recorded and several even video graphed by the ED, have been recorded under the direction of the Supreme Court under section 50 of prevention of money laundering act.

Revelations that Tapuriah started to make after remaining tight-lipped for long, here is a excerpt from one key interrogation session by the ED.

ED: Your statement dated 30.03.2011 states political affiliation of Hassan Ali Khan. Did Mr Khan ever tell you names of leaders he was close to?

Kashinath Tapuriah: Mr Khan had claimed to have political affiliation with persons like Vijay Bhaskar Reddy, AS Choudhary, Subirami Reddy, Renuka Choudhary, Jaya Prada and Suresh Kalmadi. He had told me about them as under.

Subbirami Reddy - He is a politician from Andhra Pradesh, who is associated with the airport project of Delhi or Mumbai in some way. Hasan Ali Khan had told me that Subirami Reddy was his good friend.

Renuka Choudhary - I met her through one of my friends, Mr Jagdish Tytler, who took me to her.

Jaya Prada - Mr Khan claimed to have known her well in 1994-95. Mr Khan had a very good influence on Jaya Prada. I had seen them when I and Mr Khan had stayed in Hotel Oberoi somewhere in 1996.

Mr Khan also referred to Mr Suresh Kalmadi, but I do not believe what Mr Khan said as I personally knew Kalmadi as a politician and had met him during the Nehru Centenary Marathon meet in Delhi in 1986.

ED: In your statement dated 13.01.07 you have stated that Khan's name was referred to you by one AS Chowdhary, MP and Vijay Bhaskar Reddy of Andhra Pradesh. Who was this Vijay Bhaskar Reddy? Is he the ex-chief minister of AP? Why did you not disclose this on 28.03.11 that Khan was introduced to you by the ex Andhra Pradesh chief minister?

Kashinath Tapuriah: Hasan Ali Khan took me to meet AS Chowdhary and Vijaya bhaskar reddy and they spoke well of him. I met them in 2000 with Hassan Ali. AS Chowdhary was a Congress Rajya Sabha MP and Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy was the ex AP CM. I met Reddy at his Delhi residence. I had no personal purpose, but it was Khan who wanted to show his credibility.

According to the interrogation report, Tapuriah mentioned Renuka Chowdhury's name when he was asked about a known hawala operator Abbas Naqvi.

ED: Do you know any person by the name Abbas Naqvi?

Kashinath Tapuriah: Yes. Abbas Naqvi is a building contractor. I had taken a diamond through him from his jewelers in Mumbai. The diamond cost about Rs 1.20 crore. But Mr Khan took it away.

When asked why Mr Khan took the diamond he claims Khan had said he wanted to give the diamond to one important person and referred the name of Renuka Choudhary. Renuka Choudhary is a politician. Mr Khan had told me that she was his very close friend.

The details of the interrogation report now throw-up the big question - is this an attempt by Tapuriah to deflect attention from himself or do his claims deserve further probe of the politicians?

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