A key accused in the multi-crore Hoshiarpur land scam was arrested at the Delhi airport Monday. The accused, Prateek Gupta, is a resident of Hoshiarpur and a business partner of the son of a local BJP leader, police said. A team of Vigilance Bureau, Economic Offences Wing, Jalandhar, has left for Delhi take Prateek’s custody for further investigation. He was set to fly to Nepal from IGI Airport on Monday when he was arrested by the airport police.
Prateek was allegedly among the major beneficiaries in the case and had been booked along with 12 other accused in February this year. In the scam, windfall gains were made by private persons as a nearly two-km stretch was purchased from farmers at lower rates in Hoshiarpur to pocket heavy compensation with the connivance of revenue officials. Vigilance department had issued a ‘look out notice’ against all the accused.
SSP Sameer Kumar said they were informed about the arrest by Delhi airport police around noon on Monday. “I sent the team immediately and he will be brought to Jalandhar on transit remand, where he will be taken on remand by vigilance department for further investigation,” he said.
According to the vigilance department, Prateek had bought two plots measuring around 221 marla at Khawaspur village in Hoshiarpur just a day before the notification of the property to be acquired for the purpose of four-laning project by NHAI. Although he had purchased this land at the rate of Rs 30,000 per marla from some farmers and spent nearly Rs 64 lakh to purchase the entire 221 marla, he got a compensation of Rs 15.54 crore in two instalments from the government, including Rs 8.9 crore and Rs 6.63 crore through a private bank. The actual compensation was Rs 17. 27 crore as the remaining 10 per cent (Rs 1.73 crore) was deducted as Income Tax.