After his son, Deepak Kumar, was booked for allegedly selling subsidised wheat in the open market on Sunday morning, an attempt to cover up the matter landed Nabha resident Pawan Kumar in jail on Sunday, as Vigilance Bureau (VB) officials caught him in what was dubbed a "reverse trap".
The son remained at large, though, ever since Sunday morning when VB officials found three trolleys of
wheat -- meant for families from the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category -- being loaded from his shop for illegal sale at the Khanna grain market.
A team of the VB led by deputy superintendent of police (DSP) KD Sharma had on Sunday morning raided the public distribution system (PDS) depot at Nabha run by Pawan's son Dheeraj, and busted the scam. Dheeraj managed to flee the spot.
In the evening, Pawan allegedly offered a Rs. 2-lakh bribe to sub-inspector Pritpal Singh, who was part of the VB raiding team. Pritpal agreed as part of the "reverse trap" after informing his seniors. And when Pawan reached Patiala, 22 km from Nabha, and was paying the bribe at Baradari Gardens, he was arrested, claimed the VB.
As for the PDS scam by Dheeraj, the VB claimed to have been keeping a tab on Dheeraj's activities for the past three months. "Dheeraj has four PDS shops in different names - in Maraud, Dhanauri and Dandrala, apart from Nabha -- and was hand in glove with some local food and civil supplies officials to siphon off the entire wheat and other material meant for distribution among the poor. He was minting at least Rs. 3 lakh a month through this scam," said senior superintendent of police (VB) Pritam Singh.
"A case under section 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered against Pawan, while son Dheeraj would be booked in the main PDS scam case," said DSP Sharma.