The vigilance bureau, on Thursday, arrested two more persons, including a sarpanch and a panchayat member, in connection with the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) funds scam in Attari constituency. They include Ninder Singh, sarpanch of Bharopal village, and a panchayat member of the village, Hardev Singh.
Confirming the arrests, SSP (vigilance) Opinderjit Singh Ghuman said, "A cheque for about Rs 5 lakh was handed over by former animal husbandry minister Gulzar Singh Ranike's personal assistant (PA) Sarabdyal Singh to Hardev. Later, Hardev took Ninder along to open a bank account. The account was opened on the basis of Ninder's original documents. Subsequently, the cheque was encashed. While Rs 4 lakh was given to Sarabdyal, Hardev invested Rs 75,000 in an insurance policy. Ninder kept the remaining amount."
The SSP said a letter of the BDPO attached with the application for opening the account was fake.
The number of arrests in the scam has gone up to five. However, Sarabdyal, the main accused, continues to be absconding. The VB had arrested a block development and panchayat officer (BDPO) and two former sarpanches on Wednesday. The three were remanded in judicial custody on Thursday.
Ranike had to step down as minister after HT exposed the embezzlement of funds in Attari assembly constituency.