NGO director arrested, Srinagar MC officials booked on ‘fraud’ chargesUpdated: Oct 22, 2020, 22:15 IST
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Srinagar, arrested Zaheer Abbas Bhatti, who is working as Director of Social Welfare of India in a case pertaining to allegations of fraud, corruption and embezzlement of public money under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.
Earlier, a joint surprise check was conducted by ACB to look into the allegations against an NGO, Social Welfare India, and officials of Srinagar municipal corporation pertaining to construction of individual house hold latrine (IHHL) units under Swachh Bharat Mission.
In a statement, an ACB spokesman said that it was established that vide an agreement, 218 IHHLs and nine twin storage pits were to be constructed by the said NGO.
Srinagar MC commissioner got the matter verified and submitted physical verification report stating that the said the IHHL and twin storage pits have been constructed as per SBM/SMC guidelines, subsequent to which an amount of Rs 38.81 lakh was released in favour of the NGO.
The spokesman added that during probe, it came to fore that not even a single unit was constructed by the said NGO and the engineering wing of the MC had submitted a false completion report to the higher- ups thus facilitating release of huge amount of money in favour of the NGO.
He said that a case was registered in ACB Srinagar branch against officials of the MC which included the then MC executive engineer Maroof Ahmad, the then MC junior engineer Javaid Iqbal Shah, and officebearers of the said NGO – director Zaheer Abbas Bhatti and general secretary Ishrat Ashraf Shah.