Channel exposes MLAs involved in hawala | india | Hindustan Times
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Channel exposes MLAs involved in hawala

The political establishment in Uttar Pradesh was shaken on Wednesday by a TV news channel's expose of the alleged involvement of three legislators in criminal activities like money laundering, drug trafficking and poaching.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2006 02:18 IST

The political establishment in Uttar Pradesh was shaken on Wednesday by a TV news channel's expose of the alleged involvement of three legislators in criminal activities like money laundering, drug trafficking and poaching.

During the sting operation conducted by CNN-IBN channel and DIG, journalists also secretly filmed one of the politicians - Minister of State for Backward Classes Welfare Mehboob Ali - allegedly accepting a bribe to arrange the transfer of government officials.

The footage aired on the channel showed Ali, a leader of the state's ruling Samajwadi Party, demanding a 20 per cent kickback for "shipping" a consignment of narcotics in his official car.

Ali also agreed to even put the journalists, posing as drug traffickers, in touch with a known narcotics supplier in Barabanki, 40 km from Lucknow.

Ali allegedly accepted money from the journalists for facilitating the transfers and postings of officials, including legal and police officers.

The sting operation also exposed Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator Anil Kumar Maurya, who promised to help journalists posing as NGO activists in hawala or illegal money transfers.

Maurya was shown accepting Rs 5,000 as "protection money" for NGO activists carrying out projects in his constituency. He also showed off a gun that he said he had used to poach endangered animals.

The third legislator who figured in the expose was Somatu Ram Saroj of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who allegedly accepted a bribe of Rs 5,000 from the journalists.

The sting operation was conducted over a period of one month.