Sena (UBT) leader Amol Kirtikar questioned by EOW for five hours in ‘Khichdi’ case
The EOW, which is probing the scam related to the distribution of khichdi to migrant labourers during the Covid-19 pandemic, summoned Amol Kirtikar for questioning on Monday. The EOW, which is investigating the matter, suspects that during this period, Amol had helped the contractors who were given the contract to make Khichdi get the contract
Mumbai: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police questioned Shiv Sena (UBT) leader on Wednesday for over five hours in connection with the alleged ₹6.37-crore ‘Khichdi’ scam case. Amol Kirtikar is the son of senior politician and Lok Sabha member Gajanan Kirtikar who is with Eknath Shinde faction.
The EOW, which is probing the scam related to the distribution of khichdi to migrant labourers during the Covid-19 pandemic, summoned Amol Kirtikar for questioning on Monday. The EOW, which is investigating the matter, suspects that during this period, Amol had helped the contractors who were given the contract to make Khichdi get the contract.
Kirtikar was questioned about suspicions that his bank account had received funds of more than ₹30 lakh that could be linked to the scam, a senior officer said.
EOW officials said Kirtikar will be called for questioning on Friday again. The case was registered on September 2 against businessman Sujit Patkar, the close aide of a senior Shiv Sena (UBT) leader, Sunil alias Bala Kadam, Sahyadri Refreshments Rajeev Salunkhe, Force one Multi Service’s partners and employees, Sneha Caterer’s partners, then assistant municipal commissioner (Planning) and other unidentified BMC officers. The case was registered after the police found financial irregularities allegedly carried out in awarding contracts for distribution of ‘Khichdi’ to migrants during the Covid-19 period by the BMC. All the accused have been booked under sections 420, 409, 406, 34 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code.
Kirtikar had arrived at the EOW office at around 11.30am and left around 4:30pm. “His interrogation will continue and we will call him again on Friday”, said an EOW official.
Till now, the EOW have questioned three persons, apart from Kirtikar, Shiv Sena leader Aditya Thackeray’s close aide Suraj Chavan was questioned for five hours on September 18 in the same case and a BMC official. Suraj Chavan was even questioned during a preliminary inquiry (PE) in Khichdi scam for several hours on August 23. Apart from the Khichdi scam, Chavan was also interrogated in another inquiry conducted by EOW in connection with the alleged irregularities in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) jumbo Covid centres.
The Preliminary Enquiry (PE) started after former MP Kirit Somaiya had raised objections over the BMC’s spending on Khichdi during a pandemic and given a complaint. Based on his complaint, a few months ago, EOW has initiated a preliminary enquiry to look into the Khichdi scam, said EOW official.
There were a total six PEs initiated by the EOW with regard to alleged irregularities in the functioning of the BMC during the pandemic. Subsequently, First Information Reports were registered to probe alleged irregularities in three instances ---related to the Covid jumbo centres case pertaining to the Lifeline Hospital Management Services Ltd, the purchase of body bags at inflated rates during the Covid pandemic and the distribution of Khichdi. There are three PEs currently related to alleged irregularities linked to supply of oxygen concentrators, supply of Remdesivir injections and construction of Jumbo Covid Centres at rented premises, said EOW officials.