Home Dehradun It’s not just a story of 3 bureaucrats in U’khand!

It’s not just a story of 3 bureaucrats in U’khand!


By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 24 May: Three bureaucrats from Uttarakhand, one of them an IPS Officer and two IAS officers, are in the news for all the wrong reasons, these days. All three of them have a Haridwar connection. While the IPS officer has been SSP, Haridwar, for a significant period of time, the other two were posted there as DMs. While the media has generally refrained from naming them even if their family members have been mentioned in FIRs registered by the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Government for involvement in land scams, the news has gone viral.
The land scam is related to Dadri village in Greater Noida. The FIR has been filed against the father of one IAS officer of the Uttarakhand cadre, the mother of an IPS officer, and father-in-law of another IAS officer. One of them is a Secretary level officer and a high profile bureaucrat who has held a creamy but lower level post in Dehradun despite being a Secretary level officer. He is also considered to be in the good books of the present government in Uttarakhand. The other IAS officer is one whose father too was an IAS officer and he holds a secretary (in-charge) post in addition to a lower level yet creamy post in Dehradun.
Of course, it is not the only case in which allegations of corruption have been made against bureaucrats in Uttarakhand. One former very top level bureaucrat had made a lot of news at the time of demonetisation when he sought clemency and declared income to the tune of more than a hundred crore rupees. There have been allegations against several bureaucrats but the cases could not be taken to their logical conclusion due to lack of seriousness on part of the government allegedly due to nexus between the politicians and the bureaucrats. The National Highway 74 scam is one prime example. Though suspensions were ordered but, soon, the services of the accused were reinstated and they were even given high profile postings afterwards.
Then there was a scholarship scam that involved misappropriation of hundreds of crores of rupees. There have been allegations of scams in UPCL, of computer purchase in several departments, but none of these cases were taken to any logical conclusion.
The FIR mentions as accused, amongst others, these relatives of the bureaucrats, who are Khacheru Mal Sant (resident of Aligarh), Saraswati Devi (resident of Patna in Bihar) and M Bhaskaran (resident of Chennai). According to sources, Chief Minister Dhami has been updated on the matter. It remains to be seen if any action is taken against them or not. Today, the CM was present at a function at the BJP State Headquarters, where he was asked this question. Dhami responded that the law would take its own course and the case was related to UP not Uttarakhand. However, his government would consider what to do about it. Sources have also claimed that there are several other police officers and bureaucrats who have close relation with the main accused in the scam, Yashpal Tomar. In fact, CPI-ML leader Indresh Maikhuri has written a letter to the CM seeking a detailed inquiry into these allegations.
It may be recalled that the FIR in UP was filed on Sunday and is related to illegal purchase of land meant to be allotted to poor members of the Scheduled Caste in village Chithera, Dadri, of Greater Noida. The main accused in this case is the infamous land mafia don, Yashpal Tomar, whose assets had about a month ago been raided by central as well as state agencies and is currently behind bars. His properties worth more than Rs 150 crores were recently seized by the Haridwar district administration after a lot of hesitation. No action had been taken against Tomar, initially, despite complaints filed against him by several people. Finally, a plethora of complaints forced the state police to order an STF inquiry into the allegations. Based on the inquiry, the administration had to swing in action about a month ago and seize the properties in question. The issue was of forced encroachment on properties of others and manipulation of land records.
The UP Police in its investigation have found that in the Dadri land scam, 4 senior cops of Uttar Pradesh cadre were also involved. The bureaucrats whose family members have been mentioned in the FIR were posted in Haridwar either as DMs or SSP. It is then they are understood to have come in touch with the land shark, Yashpal Tomar. Tomar has been allegedly involved in a lot of legal and illegal property dealings in district Haridwar and Noida and Greater Noida. Sources claim that, while these officers were posted in Haridwar and even after they were posted out, Tomar on their behalf did a lot of property dealing. Many such deals were shady in character. In Greater Noida, leases were sold at throwaway prices to the families of bureaucrats, though the plots were meant to be allotted to poor SC families.
Sources further claim that FIRs have been filed on the direction of UP Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath. In the FIR, these relatives have been mentioned as associates of Yashpal Tomar. According to the FIR, rules were openly flouted in the land deal. These plots were meant for lease to SC families and they could not be resold under the agreement. The case was initially investigated by Additional District Magistrate (Finance and Revenue), Greater Noida, Vandita Srivastava. Based on the investigation, Chithera village Lekhpal Sheetla Prasad filed a case against a total of nine people, including land mafia Yashpal Tomar, at Dadri Kotwali on Saturday. Sources claim that the UP Police is now probing how Yashpal Tomar came in contact with these bureaucrats. It may be recalled that, on 13 May, four separate cases were also registered against Yashpal Tomar, resident of Baghpat in UP, in Haridwar’s Kankhal, Jwalapur and City Kotwali. A case has been registered in Kankhal for threatening to kill and entering the house of Congress leader Tosh Jain. In Jwalapur, Delhi’s property dealer Bharat Chawla also filed a case under effective sections including extortion and forcible land grab. After this, the STF registered a case under the Gangster Act. Due to the Gangster Act, his land worth Rs 153 crore has been attached by the STF. The fourth case was filed by the STF in connection with the release of four wheelers by misleading the court on the basis of forged documents.