IOCL asks CBI to investigate gangster's link with petrol pumps
The Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) has sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into alleged irregularities in allotment of two retail outlets in Odisha to the family of a gangster, who is now behind bars. The IOCL had been asked to send a report on the issue after the matter regarding allotment of the retail outlets to the family of history-sheeter Syed Usman Ali alias Tito came to the notice of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, an official said on Thursday.
One petrol pump is located in Kendrapada while the other one is located at Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district. On inquiry, the IOCL found that the retail outlet in the name of Ms Sayed Brothers Filling Station, Badahat in Kendrapara town in Kendrapara district and ad-hoc dealership of COCO (Company Owned Company Operated retail outlet) at Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district were commissioned in violation of guidelines, an IOCL statement said.
“In view of several irregularities and seriousness of issues involved, the Ministry of Petroleum, with the approval of the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, has advised IOCL to refer the matter to the CBI for thorough investigation,” it said.
The IOCL referred the matter to CBI for investigation and necessary action on Wednesday. The Special Task Force (STF) of Crime Branch of Odisha police had sealed the two fuel stations earlier this month. A senior STF officer said the fuel stations were registered in the name of Titos wife Benazir Bibi. The petrol outlets were allotted to Titos family in 2015, IOCL officials said.
STF sleuths have already questioned the arrested gangster’s wife, the sources said. Four persons were also arrested yesterday for their alleged links with Tito.
The 56-year-old gangster, who was arrested several times earlier, faces many criminal cases involving murder, attempt to murder and extortion. His gang was more active in districts like Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Cuttack, the police said.
The police said the STF was also looking into possible links with inter-state criminal gangs of Tito, who had built a business empire allegedly through tender fixing, extortion and other illegal means since late 1990s.