Ambulance bought with MP fund seized with liquor stock, driver arrested
The police on Wednesday seized an ambulance in Saran district bought under Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) but being allegedly used for transporting countrymade liquor for the upcoming Panchayat polls and arrested its driver, officials said.
The ambulance was seized near Shyamchak village on Saran-Siwan main road with 280 litres of countrymade liquor, police said.
The arrested man has been identified as Rakesh Rai. His associate managed to flee, police said.
As per officials, the ambulance was purchased in 2019 by Saran MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy from his MPLADS fund and was handed over it to the mukhiya of Rampur Kotwa Patti panchayat.
During interrogation, the arrested driver told police they had been using the ambulance to smuggle liquor for the last few months.
The FIR (first information report) lodged by the police names Rakesh Rai, Sugu Rai, mukhiya (panchayat head) Jaiprakash Singh and an unidentified person.
“The ambulance was on its way from Telpa (Saran) to Siwan,” said Saran superintendent of police (SP) Santosh Kumar, adding that raids were on way to nab the other accused.
“The liquor was meant to be used during panchayat election,” the SP said.
Station house officer (SHO) of Bhagwan Bazar police station, Mukesh Kumar Jha, said the ambulance was booked in the name of a pregnant woman.
Meanwhile, Rudy lauded the police for quick action and demanded stern action against the culprits. “I have written a letter to the district magistrate and provided all papers to him. I have also demanded a thorough probe and punishment to culprits,” he said.
During the deadly second wave of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, former MP Pappu Yadav, along with his supporters, had alleged that ambulances bought in Saran with MPLADS fund were gathering dust at a school ground in the district and had accused Rudy of wrongdoing, a charge denied by the Saran MP.
A video clip of Yadav and his supporters “exposing the fraud” was largely circulated on social media.