Hyderabad: Malcom Taylor, a resident of Mettuguda- Hyderabad and a key-witness in the Cash-for-vote scam, security cover has been pruned from 8 personnel to 4, reasons being ‘financial constraints’ and inconvenience. Perhaps, this could be the first case, wherein, a witness to sensitive case and whose life, is at still at possible threat, cut short the security cover.
In 2015, former TDP MLA and now a Congress MP A. Revanth Reddy fell into the trap of Anti-Corruption Bureau for offering a bribe of Rs 50 lakh to Anglo -Indian MLA Elvis Stephenson to vote in favour of the TD party in the Telangana legislative council elections. The ACB set up a trap at Malcom Taylor’s residence in Tarnaka while Revanth Reddy was orchestrating the deal.
The case turned significant when a person by name ‘Chandrababu Naidu’ was found involved in the deal. Notably, the man’s name matches with that of former AP Chief minister. This correspondent got hold of an 11-minute video clip, where Revanth Reddy’s conduit Sebastian during the deal, said, ‘Babu initially wanted to give Rs 3-3.5 crore, but on my recommendation, the bribe money increased to Rs 5 crore’. The case being investigated with Enforcement Directorate enquired on who was ‘Babu’ that Sebastian was referring to.
Speaking to NewsMeter about the security cover, A source said, “Malcom Taylor’s was provided with a cover of 8 personnel 24 x7, a month after the scam was reported following his appeal. Four gunmen would guard him at home and four at the office in Secunderabad. However, besides the salary paid by the government, Taylor had to take care of their other expenses which was turning a burden”.
The key-witness, for over four years, provided the gunmen with a flat at Tarnaka located close to his residence. The flat was used to rest and store the ammunition. Similarly, the nominated Anglo Indian MLA Elvis Stephenson has taken on rent a flat for his gunmen.
“Besides the accommodation, the monthly expenses would come up to Rs 2500. An appeal was made to the TRS President K. T Rama Rao to cut short his security cover, and this was accepted in December 2019. He is now guarded with 2 + 2 personnel”, the source added.