Foodgrain scam: Om Prakash Gupta named in CBI chargesheet
Sources in the CBI have said witnesses in foodgrain scam cases related to Sitapur and Lakhimpur Kheri districts have sought security fearing threats from a jailed ex-minister and transporters since the Samajwadi Party came to power in the state.
The sources said the witnesses alleged threats from ex-minister and SP leader Om Prakash Gupta against whom the CBI has filed chargesheet in the foodgrain scam case related to Sitapur district.
The witnesses in Lakhimpur Kheri case feared for their safety from some transporters who are accused in the case and allegedly have links with some influential ruling party leaders.
The witnesses include employees of Food Corporation godowns,local government grain market and licence holders of public distribution system (PDS) shops in the two districts.
The CBI had filed chargesheet against Gupta on September 2 last year for his alleged involvement in selling off foodgrain worth Rs 17 crore,meant for the PDS,illegally to private companies during 2004-2005. The foodgrains had to be distributed through BPL and Antyodaya cards in Sitapur district.
The chargesheet also named Guptas relative,Vinay Gupta. Enforcement Directorate has also been probing Guptas involvement in the matter of money laundering following CBI reports.
Gupta has been a four-time MLA from Sitapur and his history sheet at Sitapur City Kotwali contains 69 criminal cases against him.
As many as 11 cases are still pending against him. These cases include that of murder,attempt to murder and dacoity. Gupta was also booked twice under the Gangster Act.
The police record confirmed that four cases were withdrawn by the previous SP government and final reports in seven cases were filed by the police.
Gupta was arrested on April 25 last year and he is presently lodged in Sitapur district jail.
He was arrested in a case registered on the complaint of CBI investigating officer sub-inspector Uma Shanker Shukla who is probing the foodgrain scam cases.