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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Controversial Chhattisgarh IG Kalluri to investigate PDS scam

The Chhattisgarh government named controversial police officer SRP Kalluri as the head of a special investigation team (SIT) that will probe alleged irregularities in the public distribution system (PDS).

india Updated: Jan 09, 2019 11:12 IST
Ritesh Mishra
Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Raipur
IG, Anti-Corruption Bureau, SRP Kalluri
IG, Anti-Corruption Bureau, SRP Kalluri(HT PHOTO)
         

The newly elected Congress government in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday named controversial police officer SRP Kalluri as the head of a special investigation team (SIT) that will probe alleged irregularities in the public distribution system (PDS).

“The 12-member SIT will be headed by SRP Kalluri, who is currently posted as IG ACB [Anti-Corruption Bureau] and will have other police officers,” said Taran Sinha, director of public relations, Chhattisgarh government.

The state government had on January 1 formed the SIT to probe the alleged scam, which came to light in 2014 after the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) conducted raids in various parts of the state and seized cash and documents.

However, the opposition BJP on Tuesday took strong exception to Kalluri’s appointment as SIT chief.

On January 2 last year, Inspector General of Police Kalluri was transferred from Bastar to the state police headquarters following allegations of human rights violations.

Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sachinand Upasane said that the Congress criticised same the police officer when it was in opposition.

“This shows that Congress government is trying to save someone,” he said.

Former chief minister Raman Singh also questioned the appointment: “The formation of SIT in itself is not legitimate. When the case is going on in [high] court and the charge sheet has been filed, then why an SIT? Congress is doing vendetta politics,” Singh said.

The alleged PDS scam was unearthed in 2014 and a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by Sudeep Shrivasatva, an advocate, in Chhattisgarh high court demanding an SIT investigation in the case.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau had also recovered coded diary entries about pay-offs to officials and politicians, officials familiar with the investigation said.

The Congress, then in the opposition, claimed that the scam was worth Rs 36,000 crore.

Shirvastava claimed a total of 27 people were named in the FIR registered by Anti-Corruption Bureau, of which only 12 were charge-sheeted.

Later, six other accused were added which included two Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers. According to the charge sheet, samples of rice, salts that were found to be unfit for human consumption were cleared by officers and distributed among public.

First Published: Jan 09, 2019 10:39 IST