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Who gave him the money?

delhi Updated: Jan 16, 2009 23:43 IST
Vijaita Singh

His monthly salary was merely between Rs 18,000 and Rs 20,000 when he retired as a telephone assistant in 2004. But to buy 1,200 application forms for the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) housing scheme M.L. Gautam spent a whopping Rs 65 lakh this year.

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police has now decided to freeze bank accounts of Gautam to find out his monetary source.

Police said freezing of the accounts would provide them with clinching evidence in trailing the “financiers”. This would also help them zero in on property dealers who allegedly worked with the retired DDA official in arranging money for forms in the reserved category.

Meanwhile, on Friday the police detained Manish Kumar, a chartered accountant who allegedly helped Deepak Kumar and Suresh Kumar in filling application forms of more than 2,000 persons. Police said Manish could be arrested. While Deepak has already been arrested, Suresh is still absconding.

The EOW is also going to investigate the role of present DDA officials and are preparing a “questionnaire” to grill them. So far the police have not questioned any DDA official.

Police said Gautam had cornered 40 flats under the Scheduled Caste (SC) category.

“We are trying to find the financiers who gave money for the application forms. We have sent Gautam’s bank account for verification and would freeze them soon,” said SBK Singh, additional CP (EOW).

“We want to know whether he received the payment through cheque or cash. The bank transactions would give a specific lead about the persons involved,” said Singh.

So far four persons have been arrested in the case. Police conducted raids at Gautam's house on Friday and recovered more documents.

Jhunjhunu ‘applicants’ identify Meena
A four-member team led by ACP Deepak Purohit met the nine ‘applicants’ from on Friday and collected written complaints. All the nine villagers identified accused Laxmi Narayan Meena, a local politician and a former bank employee, who had allegedly forcibly taken details of the villagers. A team took Deepak Kumar, the whistleblower, to identify the remaining suspects.
“We have also sent a team to Bulandshahar in UP from where maximum number of SC persons bagged the flats. Gautam had gathered details of these persons,” said the officer.

Details of ST applicants from NE sought
The police have also asked the DDA to provide them with details about Scheduled Tribe candidates, particularly from Meghalaya and Manipur.

“We have sought the details and would soon be sending teams there (northeast) to verify the applicants,” said Singh. Teams would also be sent to Chattisgarh and Jharkhand.