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Irfan Alam of Samman Foundation arrested by police for abducting and assaulting

Irfan with Obama!

Patna: according to latest reports in the local press, Irfan Alam, the chairman-cum-managing director of Samman Foundation has been arrested by the police for abducting and assaulting a software engineer. He is the same person who was often flaunted as a role model for new Bihar and was even invited to dinner last year by US President Barack Obama. All those in the government and the NGO sector who felicitated him are now red-faced and their faces are likely to get redder as more skeletons jump out of this cupboard.

According to the police, Alam with his three associates was arrested from the State Bank Colony under Shastrinagar police station at the office of Samman Foundation run by him. Patna senior superintendent of police Alok Kumar said a police team rescued Navendu after his father complained of kidnapping of his son allegedly by Irfan and his associates. Prime facie dispute over payment appeared to be the reason behind the incident, he added.

Irfan denied the acusation of abduction claiming that Navendu had failed to pay back his money given to him for some official work about a year back. after Irfan called Navendu to his Khajpura office when Navendu reached there, Irfan and his men allegedly took possession of his cellphone and laptop, closing him inside a room and beating him up badly. Irfan also allegedly misbehaved with an assistant superintendent of police when the latter reached his office to enquire about the whereabouts of the victim.

At some point, president Obama had invited Irfan for dinner for his work with rickshaw-pullers. Irfan is widely known for redesigning cycle rickshaws in Bihar. Declaring him as one of 79 “unique” entrepreneurs from across the world, Obama invited Irfan to an “entrepreneurship summit” in Washington in 2010.

Smart rickshaws: big on hype and PR!

Irfan’s design of a “smart” rickshaw included shelves that can stock mineral water, soft drinks, newspapers and other “small items of big necessity” that the pullers could sell to their customers, adding to their income. For some time, reports in Patna have suggested that despite the hype, Irfan’s smart rickshaws did not quite work well with the rickshaw-wallahs who often ended up ruining their livelihood prospects.

Here may be one more ‘success story’ from Bihar promising to come down with a monumental bang – a lesson for those who in their blind optimism refuse to hear the truth, see it or speak it! All in the name of the image and the hype!

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