Man posing as Raman Singh’s secretary sent to police custody (Lead)

October 7th, 2008 - 9:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Oct 7 (IANS) A man arrested for posing as personal secretary of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh was Tuesday remanded in police custody for two days. Rajiv Kumar Sarthi, the 43-year-old resident of Janjgir district, was held Monday evening from the state secretariat after some officials alerted the police.

It is suspected that he had been blackmailing several senior officials since 2006 and had been influencing transfers and appointments too.

“This man has stunned everybody. He had been dealing with officials for a long time. We have arrested him on charges of cheating and forgery,” Amit Kumar, Raipur district superintendent of police, told IANS.

The police have been interrogating him to find out if he had managed to extort money by posing as the chief minister’s personal secretary.

The olice said Sarthi was reluctant to cough up much information.

The Raipur police have asked their counterparts from Sarthi’s home district to send details of his past and inquire about him from his family members and relatives.

The police have seized a set of letterheads proclaiming Sarthi as the chief minister’s personal secretary as well as fake seals and a forged identity card.

Officials said Sarthi sent dozens of letters in recent months to people in Raipur and other districts regarding transfers and appointments, including those of Raman Singh’s authorised personal assistant and his officer on special duty (OSD).

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