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A week after officers and ministers of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s cabinet were raided by the CBI in sand mining scam, searches were conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday, January 31, at six locations across Uttar Pradesh in connection with the Rs 1,400 crore memorial scam which happened during BSP chief Mayawati’s tenure.
Under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act was the vigilance complaint filed.
As searches are going on, officials say that several bureaucrats are on the radar of the ED. Besides searching places of officers and contractors involved in the scam, the then MD of UP Nirman Nigam CP Singh’s house in Lucknow was also searched by the officials. A case has been registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for investigation, reported Outlook.
Reportedly, the CBI carried out searches 14 locations during Yadav’s regime in 2012 to 2016 in order to probe the alleged illegal mining of minor minerals. According to the former Chief Minister, opposition parties are being targeted by the agency ahead of general elections. The BSP chief also supported his statement, who, recently, reported News18.
Five months back, a bench of Chief Justice DB Bhosale and Justice Yashwant Varma, which was hearing the matter then had asked administration not to ‘spare’ any culprit. The Allahabad High Court had then asked for the vigilance report’s status in the alleged scam.
Enforcement Directorate is conducting raids at 6 locations in Lucknow in connection with Rs 1400 Crore memorial scam. Visuals from Gomti Nagar and Hazratganj area. pic.twitter.com/JVwtIzpU3R
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) January 31, 2019
Former ministers Naseemuddin Siddiqui and Babu Singh Kushwaha, along with as many as 197 others, were indicted by The UP Lokayukta for ‘wrong-doings’ in purchasing sandstone in Lucknow and Noida for Dalit memorials during 2007 to 2012, which was Mayawati’s regime.
Mayawati was, however, exonerated by Lokayukta NK Mehrotra, who gave over his 88-page report to former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. He exonerated her because of lack of evidence against her or any other bureaucrat.
Naseemuddin Siddiqui is now facing various cases involving disproportionate assets, he has joined the Indian National Congress after leaving the Bahujan Samaj Party. Besides this, Babu Singh Kushwaha, was accused in another infamous National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam, following which he was expelled from the party. In connection with the same case, he his now serving his jail term.
Apart from them, an FIR which was registered for financial irregularities in the construction of memorials, including statues of BSP founder Kanshi Ram and the party’s poll symbol ‘elephant’, in 2014, contains names of many accused engineers and officers. It has been alleged that act “resulted in the loss of over Rs 111,44,35,066 to the government exchequer and unlawful gain to public servants and private individuals,” reported Outlook. The state government, headed by Mayawati had constructed the memorials, statues and parks at a cost of over Rs 2,600 at a few places in the state.
Lokayukta also found that on the purchase and finishing of stones for the memorials, Rs 4,188 crore had been spent. 35% of this money was taken away by bureaucrats, politicians, contractors and engineers.
The investigation against 199 people was also recommended by the Lokayukta report, which further stated that there was evidence against 199 people who were named in the report had taken the commission.
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