Punjab vigilance launches probe into ₹5-crore Sultanpur Lodhi wheat scam - Hindustan Times
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Punjab vigilance launches probe into 5-crore Sultanpur Lodhi wheat scam

ByGagandeep Jassowal
Sep 14, 2021 10:16 PM IST

Over 24,000 quintal grain is missing in his wheat scam in Sultanpur Lodhi; the Punjab vigilance is expected to shed more light on the case through its investigation

Jalandhar Punjab vigilance bureau has launched investigation into a 5 crore Sultanpur Lodhi wheat scam involving the pilferage of 24,000 quintal of the grain. On June 25, HT was the first to report the wheat scam. On Tuesday, a Kapurthala court dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of five officials, who have been named as accused in this wheat scam.

In the Sultanpur Lodhi wheat scam, Punjab vigilance is likely to have an investigation that relooks at all previous probe points. (HT PHOTO FOR REPRESENTATIVE PURPOSES ONLY)
In the Sultanpur Lodhi wheat scam, Punjab vigilance is likely to have an investigation that relooks at all previous probe points. (HT PHOTO FOR REPRESENTATIVE PURPOSES ONLY)

Kapurthala police had booked these five Punjab civil and supply department officials on August 8. They were assistant food supply officer (AFSO), Munish Bassi, and food inspectors Vivek Sharma, Bhupinder Singh, Vikas Sethi and Rameshwar Singh.

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Significantly, AFSO Bassi had flagged the issue of missing grain stock in March this year, two months after having joined in Sultanpur Lodhi on January 25, 2021. Bassi had sought record of Khera stock shortage from the circle office of the department, but the inspectors failed to reply to his letters.

Now, all five are accused of siphoning off 24,000 quintal of wheat meant for the Atta-Dal scheme and were booked for criminal breach of trust by a public servant, and criminal conspiracy in Sultanpur Lodhi. The accused remained posted in Sultanpur Lodhi between October 2020 and May 2021 and were suspended for not distributing grain to beneficiaries.

Sultanpur Lodhi DSP Sarwan Singh Bal said the Jalandhar range vigilance office had entrusted further probe to Kapurthala vigilance DSP. Food and civil supplies minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu had suspended the four food inspectors for not disbursing wheat to eligible beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act.

MISSING WHEAT GRAIN A MYSTERY

More than a month after it lodged the case, police had failed to trace the missing wheat. A Punjab vigilance official said that the missing stock will be one of the main focus areas of their probe. “We will also have a re-look at the role of all accused including Bassi, who had raised an alarm,” the official added.

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