BHUBANESWAR: Investigation into the sensational murder of Mahendra Swain, general manager of Seaways Shipping and Logistics Ltd, has taken a fresh turn with the police bringing under the ambit of its probe disputes over induction of fresh dumpers for intra-port transportation at Paradip Port.
Paradip Police questioned four dumper owners after it received a letter from Dumper Owners’ Association which alleged that attempts by Swain to unsuccessfully induct new dumpers for transportation may have caused acrimony leading to the October 26 murder.
A spate of recent incidents leading to floating of two parallel dumper owners associations under the aegis of Utkal Stevedores Association (USA) is now being seen as the tipping point.
The Dumper Owners’ Association alleged in its letter that Swain, who played a key role in formation of USA to challenge Paradip Port Stevedores Association (PPSA), had successfully persuaded a number of people to invest in dumpers and tippers. However, as the dumpers and tippers could not be engaged in transportation business even after six months, the cargo carrier owners who had shelled out huge sums of money faced serious financial crunch in absence of any business.
With Utkal Stevedores Association remaining silent on their plight, these dumper owners, belonging to two separate associations, had also warned of agitation.
As rivalry between USA and PPSA over cargo handling at the port worsened and prohibitory orders were clamped earlier this year, business prospects of the new dumper owners crashed.
Paradip Police, which is trying to ascertain if Swain made assurances to owners of over 100 dumpers to induct their cargo carriers in the intra-port transportation business, is also looking at this as a motive behind the murder.
Inspector-in-Charge of Paradip Police Station Subhransu Sekhar Nayak acknowledged receipt of the letter and said all angles are under investigation.