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U’khand govt to seek Interpol help to track 3 farmers wanted in NH-74 scam

The farmers, allegedly involved in the scam, have reportedly fled to Canada

dehradun Updated: Aug 07, 2018 21:56 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
A view of NH 74 between Jaspur-Khatima in US Nagar.(HT Photo)

The Uttarakhand government has plans to take Interpol help to track three farmers from Kashipur and Jaspur, US Nagar, who reportedly fled to Canada and are wanted in the NH-74 scam.

The scam points to the alleged distribution of nearly Rs 500-crore excess compensation among farmers in the district. Insiders claim that 60 farmers received additional compensation, of which 15 returned the over and above compensation of Rs 2 crore.

There are five farmers against whom charge sheet was submitted and they are also booked under The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1973 section 82 and 83. These farmers were paid a sum of Rs 30 crore as extra compensation. Of these five, three farmers have fled to Canada, say officers.

“We believe three farmers have fled to Canada. We investigated their whereabouts in Punjab where they belong to, but received information that they have left the country,” Sadanand Date, Special Investigation Team (SIT) in charge, US Nagar, said. “We will take Interpol help to trace the farmers,” he added.

The SIT is in the process of issuing Red Corner notice on the names of all three absconding farmers so that Interpol could track them. If any of the listed persons tries to travel through air, then they will be caught at the airport. Meanwhile, their passport details will also be sent to all the international airports.

More than a year ago, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said that officials were involved in changing the use of agricultural land for broadening of NH-74 and securing compensation at commercial rates.

“However, in the majority of the cases, the compensation, instead of being disbursed among the farmers whose land was acquired, was paid to unknown persons,” Rawat said then, adding the NH-74 scam could cost the exchequer losses to the tune of Rs 300 crore. Later, after the chief minister transferred the case to a special investigation team (SIT), he said the scam could be of Rs 500 crore.

The SIT listed the names of seven provincial civil service (PCS) officers. The CM suspended six of these officials whereas the action was initiated against the remaining one who retired from active service. In all, the SIT has arrested some 20 officials allegedly involved in the NH-74 scam. Out of these, seven are PCS officials.

Recently, names of two top IAS officers -- Pankaj Pandey and Chandresh Yadav -- also figured in the report submitted to the government. The government has issued show cause notice to the bureaucrats.

First Published: Aug 07, 2018 21:56 IST