Food grain transportation scam: Former Cong minister Ashu sent to 3-day VB custody - Hindustan Times
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Food grain transportation scam: Former Cong minister Ashu sent to 3-day VB custody

Oct 12, 2022 12:59 AM IST

In September this year, a case was registered against three contractors at the VB police station, Jalandhar, for allegedly committing fraud and embezzlement causing huge losses to the state exchequer

The vigilance bureau named former Congress minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu as accused in the labour cartage, transport tenders and works in grain markets scam in Shaheed Bhagat Singh (SBS) Nagar. After naming him accused, VB brought Ashu on the production warrant on Tuesday and produced him in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district court, which sent the former minister to three days of vigilance custody, till October 14. Vigilance bureau, Jalandhar range, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Rajeshwar Singh Sidhu confirmed the development with HT over the phone. This is the second case against Ashu, who was in judicial custody in Ludhiana tender scams.

Former Congress minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu in court in Jalandhar on Tuesday. (HT Photo)
Former Congress minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu in court in Jalandhar on Tuesday. (HT Photo)

In September this year, a case was registered against three contractors at the VB police station, Jalandhar, for allegedly committing fraud and embezzlement causing huge losses to the state exchequer. The accused have been identified as Telu Ram, Yashpal and Ajaypal from village Udhanwal in the Balachaur sub-division of SBS Nagar district. The role of other tenders and government officials of the district will be probed during the investigation of the case as alleged in the complaint in this regard.

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The VB said that the main accused Telu Ram informed the VB that he had facilitated a meeting of Yashpal and Ajaypal, both brothers, of his village, with the DFSC Rakesh Bhaskar, who also later got the tenders through former minister Ashu. Telu Ram had made many entries and calculations in a blue pocket diary, which had already been confiscated by the VB.

The SSP informed that during the investigation, the common link among all the above-mentioned accused was established, thereby the former minister was included in the trial, and a production warrant was obtained from the court. During the police remand, the said minister would be interrogated regarding the corruption committed during his ministerial tenure.

VB said during the tenders for labour cartage and transport in the grain markets for wheat/paddy/stock articles in the year 2020-2021, Honey Kumar, proprietor of RS co-operative labour and construction society had submitted tenders for Nawanshahr and Rahon clusters and PG Godown firm had filed tenders for Nawanshahr only at basic tender rates but both were rejected without any basis and the tenders were awarded to contractor Telu Ram for Nawanshahr cluster at 71 % higher rate and Rahon cluster at 72 % higher rate.

Later, when the tenders were called for the year 2022-23, Honey Kumar again submitted tenders at the basic rate for labour works in Rahon and Nawanshahr clusters through his above-said societies, but the district tender allocation committee rejected his bid and allotted labour tenders to contractor Ajaypal at 73 % more for the works in Nawanshahr cluster and 72 % more in the Rahon cluster, he added.

The VB further said the contractors Telu Ram and Yashpal at the time of filling the tenders for the year 2020-21, and contractor Ajaypal during the year 2020-21 and 2022-23 have attached online lists regarding the registration numbers of vehicles for transportation of goods which were verified by the VB from respective district transport authorities.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    A staff correspondent, based in Jalandhar covers Doaba Region of Punjab. Reports about Punjab Police, Enforcement Directorate, politics, corruption, legal, rural areas, socio-economic issues and technical education besides having specialisation in the investigative stories.

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