HYDERABAD: Heading the Animal Husbandry Scam Unit of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) — set up exclusively to probe the multi-crore fodder scam — Varun Sindhu Kul Kaumudi still remembers the day he had summoned Lalu Prasad to the CBI office in Patna for questioning in connection with the sensational fodder scam.“So you are Kaumudi?” Lalu said on meeting the young IPS officer, who also hails from Patna. After receiving Lalu with courtesy and making him comfortable, Kaumudi then told him that he needed to answer some questions about various aspects of the scam. ‘’Lalu responded positively. We posed several questions to him and examined him thoroughly. He was with us the entire day and was allowed to leave only towards evening,’’ recalls Kaumudi. This was way back in 1997.
Today, 20 years later, as news of Lalu being held guilty in the Bihar fodder scam was breaking, Kaumudi was glued to the television set — a range of emotions crossing his mind even as he spoke to some of his colleagues who had worked with him earlier. ‘’Going by the evidence we had gathered back then, we were sure he would be convicted. As we were on the job of gathering evidence, I and my team had no doubt Lalu was involved in the scam,’’ a beaming Kaumudi said.In an exclusive interview to The New Indian Express, Kaumudi, a 1986 batch IPS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, says that the charge sheet in the sensational case was watertight, which was enough to nail him.
‘’It was one massive investigation with so many dimensions to it and several people involved. You can gauge the magnitude of the investigation by the fact that we had gathered one truck load of documents which was submitted to the Special Court. I was tasked with probing the fodder scam and the disproportionate assets case as well. Lalu was summoned twice — once in the disproportionate assets case where my team examined him in the government guest house and again in the CBI office in Patna in connection with the fodder scam. To our surprise, Lalu arrived at CBI office in a rickshaw,’’ recalls Kaumudi, who is presently posted as Additional Director General in Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), New Delhi.Asked whether he faced threats from RJD, Lalu or other accused, considering he was once the Bihar strongman, Kaumudi says that though he did not face any direct threat, he was unaware if anything was being planned behind his back.