A team of Uttar Pradesh vigilance establishment conducted a search at the residence of suspended IPS officer Amitabh Thakur, who is locked in a tussle with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, in Lucknow on Tuesday.
Thakur termed the search, conducted in connection with a disproportionate assets case that the vigilance department had lodged against him last month, as “personal” vendetta by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
“The only mistake I have made is to speak against Mulayam Singh Yadav. Then, it was the duty of his son Akhilesh Yadav to ruin me and he is doing that. A case has been filed against me without any basis and by showing the properties of my brothers and parents as mine. A raid has been conducted at my place today and I may get arrested tomorrow,” Thakur told reporters at his residence.
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“I had to appear before the court today. My wife is my lawyer who was also to go there, but the vigilance officials did not let us go despite our requests,” he said.
Earlier, high drama was witnessed during the search operations that started in the morning when a vigilance team accompanied by local police reached Thakur’s house in Viram Khand locality of Gomti Nagar. The search continued for over three hours and the officials walked out of the house in the afternoon at around 1.30 pm.
A member of the Uttar Pradesh vigilance department team was seen darting out of the residence with a sheaf of papers in his hands and being confronted by an angry Thakur, who wanted the documents to be returned but the vigilance sleuth refused to do so.
“The vigilance team is conducting a raid at my residence as director (Vigilance) Bhanu Pratap Singh is working as a SP man. I am being harassed as I have lodged an FIR against Mulayam Singh Yadav,” Thakur said. Last week, he gave a complaint at Vibhuti Khand police station seeking registration of FIR against the vigilance director and others for alleged misrepresentation of facts in their inquiry report against him.
A senior vigilance officer said the search was conducted to “gather some information”. The officer said no seizures were made from Thakur’s house and a copy of the action was given to Thakur after the end of the search.
The vigilance department had lodged an FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act against Thakur who was suspended by the UP government in July for “indiscipline” and having “anti-government outlook” among other charges, soon after he lodged a police complaint against Mulayam, accusing him of threatening him over phone.
Thakur alleged that vigilance department chief and his subordinates have prepared a list of properties owned by his parents, brother, wife and an organisation with which he was earlier attached to, and showed them as his assets. He claimed neither he nor his relatives were given a chance to explain about the acquisition of those properties. Thakur maintained that it is a rule in any open inquiry, before declaring any property benami, the vigilance department should give the owners and suspected beneficiary a chance to explain. He claimed this was not done in order to implicate him in a hurried manner.
As mediapersons and onlookers gathered outside his house, Thakur said the sleuths had refused to show their identity cards when he asked for the same and “behaved like party workers”.
(With PTI inputs)