Virbadhra Singh's govt. continues probe on Dhumal | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Virbadhra Singh's govt. continues probe on Dhumal

In a move that could further escalate tensions between the ruling Congress party and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, Virbhadra Singh's government has sought more details on properties owned by former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and his family members

punjab Updated: Jul 27, 2015 21:57 IST
Gaurav Bisht

In a move that could further escalate tensions between the ruling Congress party and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, Virbhadra Singh's government has sought more details on properties owned by former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and his family members. The government is keen that the state anti-corruption & vigilance bureau should investigate the matter.

Last December the government had asked the bureau to gather details about properties owned by Dhumal and his relatives, both within and outside Himachal. The move was a follow-up to a complaint filed by a Dharamsala resident who alleged that the Dhumals possessed properties within and outside the state.

The vigilance bureau later drew up a list of Dhumal's properties and handed it over to the home department, a
portfolio also held by Virbhadra. The vigilance bureau has prepared a list of 31 properties owned by Dumal, his elder son, Hamirpur MP Anurag Thakur, younger son Arun Dhumal and other relatives.

The list reveals the Dhumals own 19 properties in Punjab, most of which are located in Jullundur, nine in Himachal Pradesh, one in Delhi and one in Gwalior. The properties range from pipe and valve factories to petrol pumps and stone crushers. Some of these properties in Gwalior, Bombay and Delhi also figure in the list.

Sleuths from the vigilance bureau had gathered records about properties owned by the Dhumals in Himachal Pradesh, which included land in Kullu, Palampur, Dharamsala and Kangra districts. Preliminary inquiries held so far reveal the properties were duly registered with the revenue department

The bureau had earlier suggested a CBI probe into the matter. Five days ago, after his return from Delhi, Virbhadra went on record saying the government was weighing its options on investigating the properties owned by the Dhumals.

Simultaneously he had raised doubts on the CBI's functioning. "The CBI was a reputed investigative agency but recently its officers from Gujarat had been sent on deputation," he had said.

On the other hand, Dhumal on Sunday accused the government of with-holding information about his properties he had sought under the Right to Information Act. "For the past four months Virbhadra had been reiterating, that he would make public, the properties owned by me and my family members. I myself sought the information under the RTI Act, which unfortunately, the government did not provide," he said.