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UP govt officials among six named in memorial ‘scam’ chargesheet

The chargesheet was submitted to a special Lucknow court for Members of Parliament, and Members of Legislative Assembly and Council.

Written by Avaneesh Mishra | Lucknow | October 20, 2020 1:16:49 am
Statues of Mayawati and Kanshi Ram. (File/Express Photo by Vishal Srivastav)

The Uttar Pradesh Vigilance Department has named six people, including at least two state government officials, in its first chargesheet in connection with alleged financial irregularities into construction of memorials undertaken by the BSP government between 2007 and 2012. The chargesheet was submitted to a special Lucknow court for Members of Parliament, and Members of Legislative Assembly and Council.

The investigation was ordered by the SP government in 2014. The six people named in the FIR were then Geology and Mining Joint Director Suhail Ahmad Farooqui, then UP Rajkiya Nirman Nigam unit in-charge Ajay Kumar, consortium head Pannalal Yadav, Ashok Singh, S K Tyagi and Hoshiyar Singh, said a Vigilance Department official.

“We will keep filing more chargesheets as the investigation proceeds. Around 30-40 people will be chargesheeted in the coming days. As of now, the chargesheet is against government officials and some private people only, and the investigation against politicians involved is still in the process,” said another vigilance official.

The Vigilance Department has been investigating five memorials in Lucknow and Noida, where statues of BSP founder Kanshi Ram and the party’s election symbol, the elephant, were built. Some of the memorials

The second official quoted above said the investigation mostly revolved around financial irregularities in transportation and carving of stones. The department has found that several registration numbers mentioned in official records were that of two-wheelers.

The Akhilesh Yadav government had initially handed over the probe to the Lokayukta over corruption allegations. The Vigilance Department registered an FIR on the basis of a report by the Lokayukta, who, in May 2013, alleged that Rs 1,400 crore of public money was siphoned off in construction of the memorials.

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