Minister V K Singh calls ex-aide a fraud, had fulsome praise last yearhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/minister-v-k-singh-calls-ex-aide-a-fraud-had-fulsome-praise-last-year-5787469/

Minister V K Singh calls ex-aide a fraud, had fulsome praise last year

Records show that the Minister appointed his former aide after he had been arrested in a forgery case; praised him, recommended him for a position in a UP BJP trade body and even asked for action against police officers who had once booked the aide for alleged cheating and forgery.

Minister V K Singh calls ex-aide a fraud, had fulsome praise last year
VK Singh and Shambhu Prasad Singh (left). File

Last week, Ghaziabad Police arrested Shambhu Prasad Singh, former political attache of Union Minister Gen (retired) V K Singh, for alleged fraud, cheating and forgery.

Four FIRs were filed against him, the first based on a complaint by the Minister’s Private Secretary (PS) Surjeet Singh  accusing Shambhu Prasad of “tarnishing the name and image of Hon’ble (Minister) by duping people… misusing his position… impersonating and cheating as staff of Hon’ble Minister” and “for taking illegal and unauthorised possession of files, documents…which are properties of the office of the Hon’ble Minister”.

The complaint to Upendra Agarwal, SSP, Ghaziabad, on April 26, 2019, also said that after having worked for “six months” — Shambhu Prasad was appointed in June 2014 — complaints were received by the Minister that he was trying to “make illegal money.” He was warned but after a “brief halt”, he was back to “extorting money”, the complaint said. And that he continued with his “nefarious activities” even after being removed.

Gen (retd) Singh’s scathing indictment of his aide doesn’t quite match with what the Minister has himself put on record earlier.

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Records show that the Minister appointed his former aide after he had been arrested in a forgery case; praised him, recommended him for a position in a UP BJP trade body and even asked for action against police officers who had once booked the aide for alleged cheating and forgery.

On June 6, 2018, Gen (retd) Singh, then MoS (External Affairs), wrote a letter to Sunil Bansal, the influential general secretary (organisation) of the BJP in UP, praising Shambhu Prasad’s “sense of duty, integrity, loyalty and efficiency.” He recommended that Shambhu Prasad Singh be appointed as secretary in the UP BJP and put in charge of the party’s Small Industries Cell saying this would help the Prime Minister’s Make in India programme in the state. Shambhu Singh was later appointed co-convener of the Small Industries Cell of the BJP in UP.

In April 2017, it was Gen (retd) Singh again who wrote to Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik asking for strong action — transfer of two officers and suspension of an inspector and two constables — against five policemen of Delhi Police Economic Offences Wing (EOW) who, he alleged, had “falsely” implicated Shambhu Prasad Singh in two 2013 FIRs that accused him of cheating and forgery.

Shambhu Prasad had been arrested in connection with one of these FIRs way back in May 2013.

In his letter, Gen (retd) Singh alleged that when Shambhu Prasad Singh was being taken to Guwahati and Shillong by the police, he was “forced to pay the first class AC fare in the said train” for the “comfort” of an inspector and two constables. The Minister also alleged that when the “harassment” was reported to two senior Delhi Police officers, they took no action but instead recommended the inspector and the constables for rewards because they were “gifted various electronics and clothing items.”

When The Indian Express contacted Patnaik, Additional CP (EOW), Suvashis Choudhary confirmed the correspondence and said: “An inquiry was conducted after receiving the letter but none of the allegations (against the police personnel) was substantiated in the inquiry. We then informed Honb’le Minister about the outcome of our inquiry.”

Shambhu Prasad Singh, now in judicial custody, was appointed Political Attache by Gen (retd) Singh on June 5, 2014.

The Indian Express sent a questionnaire to Gen (retd) Singh asking him about his letters to Bansal and Patnaik. His advocate Vishwajeet Singh replied: “You may like to be informed that the matter in question is subjudice and under police investigation. Therefore any speculative, untrue or suggestive reporting on the same shall invite serious legal attention.”