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29/03/2010

Ship breakers enter IPL Cricket Club, ‘Maoist' activist arrested in Alang, Gujarat

The surprise entrant to the Indian Premier League could soon pick up a smattering of Gujarati following the stunning auction on 21st March in which an unknown consortium called Rendezvous Sports World Ltd (RSWL) picked up the Kochi franchise for a staggering $333.33 million (Rs 1,500 crore).

Among the other partners in the RSWL is Mukesh Patel, who owns a ship-breaking company, Shri Ram Vessels Pvt Ltd, in Gujarat’s Alang. Shri Ram Vessels, in turn, holds a 49.5 per cent stake in a Mumbai realty group called Parinee Developers, among whose other partners are Gujarati businessmen Vipul Shah and Dhaval Shah.

Patel acknowledged that he had, through Parinee Developers, picked up a 10 per cent stake in the RSWL, but added that it was the Gujarat connection that had made him enter the elite IPL club. “I’m just a businessman and have absolutely no idea about the game of cricket. It is just business for me,” Patel told The Telegraph.
Patel said he had been asked to join the consortium by his friend “Mehulbhai” — Mehul Shah of Anchor — who, he claimed, owned 35 per cent in the consortium. “Mehul coaxed me to join the consortium along with my business partner Vipul Shah,” Patel said. Sources said Mehul Shah’s family was associated with Shri Ram Vessels as well. “It is well known in our trade circles that Anchor is the muscle behind Parinee through Shri Ram Vessels,” said a top realty broker in Mumbai.

Meanwhile an alleged Maoist has been arrested in Gujarat. The police on 19th March night picked up N. K. Singh, hailing from Begusarai in Bihar, from the Alang ship-breaking yard in Bhavnagar in the Saurashtra region. The Hindu reported on 22 March that he was running a labour union.

The arrest was made on the basis of the lead the police got from the mobile phone of another Maoist leader, Niranjan Mahapatra, who was arrested from Surat on 14th March. The police said the two were in close contact with each other.

Niranjan, an alleged naxalite activist from Orissa, was arrested in Pandesara area of Surat where he was living in a small house in Jagannath Nagar area for the last couple of years.

The police believed that he was trying to spread Maoist activities among the tribals in south Gujarat as well as among the diamond cutters and power loom industrial workers, both hit by the recent recessionary trend.

The police claimed that both Niranjan and N. K. Singh were members of the outlawed CPI (M-L) Janshakti and were active in Gujarat for sometime.

While conjectures of left extremism gaining ground in the State were going on for some time now, the State police on February 26 had filed a comprehensive FIR against the outlawed CPI (Maoist) to probe into the outfit's activities and the people involved in spreading its network in the State.

Four women related to KN Singh, a labour union leader of Rajkot has reportedly been arrested on 20 March because of suspected naxal links by Bhavnagar police. Superintendent of police, Rajendra Asari is tight lipped about it. Singh who was taken away by Surat police and is on remand has revealed the names of Uday Chauhan and Amit Chauhan. A police source said, that Singh has also admitted to a network and regular meetings in Malnath Hills. Not only were they active in Bhavnagar city, Uday used his contacts to recruit migrant Orissa labour in Alang ship breaking yard.

Women police were reportedly spotted picking up Singh's daughter Khushbu, who allegedly took all the documents to Uday's house to be burned in the cellar. Police have collected burned pieces of paper. This apart, wives of Singh, Uday and Amit have also been reportedly detained. Both Uday and Amit are on the run, The Times of India reported on March 22, 2010.

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