People took to the streets in Madhya Pradesh’s Katni for the third day on Thursday seeking SP Gaurav Tiwari’s reinstatement. Tiwari, who had taken over in July, was abruptly transferred on Monday in the middle of a probe into an alleged Rs 500-crore hawala scandal with links to a state minister. He had reopened investigation into fictitious accounts in Axis Bank’s Katni branch.
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The probe led to Satish Saravgi and his brother, Manish, after two employees of their firm said some of the accounts were opened at their behest. When police interrogated accountant Sanjay Tiwari last week, his wife told the media that the brothers had cited their proximity with Minister of State (independent charge) Sanjay Pathak and warned the family against spilling the beans. She later retracted her statement.
Officials maintained that Tiwari’s transfer to Chhindwara was routine.
However, the Congress alleged that Tiwari, who had formed an SIT, was transferred because he was to question people linked to the BJP. Congress spokesman K K Mishra alleged that Pathak and Saravgi brothers were partners in coal and mining firms. He said state BJP chief Nandkumar Chouhan’s son, Harsh, had business interests in the firms as well.
Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said no SIT was needed since the Income Tax department and Enforcement Directorate were authorised to carry such probes. “The mere transfer of an SP would not hamper the probe by central agencies and if they find evidence, they will progress.’’
Pathak said he had nothing to do with the scam but admitted to business dealings with the brothers. He claimed that Sanjay Tiwari’s wife, Pushpa, had been tutored to name him for her husband’s release. Pathak demanded a CBI inquiry into the scam.