Ex-Tripura CS arrested from UP in PWD scam

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Agartala, Feb 17 (IANS) Former Tripura Chief Secretary Yash Pal Singh was arrested on Monday in connection with a multi-crore PWD scam from Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad district in a joint operation by the police of the two states, said Acting Tripura Director General of Police, Rajiv Singh.

“Singh would be produced in a court in Uttar Pradesh for getting his transit remand and with the permission of the court he would be brought to Agartala for further legal formalities,” the officiating Tripura Police Chief told IANS.

Singh was the state Principal Secretary (PWD) during 2008-09. The Tripura Police Crime Branch has been looking for him in connection with a corruption case regarding the implementation of projects worth Rs 638 crore.

A police team led by the investigating officer Ajay Das went to Delhi and several other places in northern Tripura before Singh was finally arrested from Ghaziabad.

The Vigilance Wing of Tripura government had on October 13 last year, filed an FIR against veteran CPI-M leader and former PWD and Finance Minister Badal Choudhury, former Chief Secretary Yash Pal Singh and former PWD Chief Engineer Sunil Bhowmik.

Both Choudhury and Bhowmik were granted bail by the Tripura High Court a few weeks ago after their arrest on October 14 and October 21 respectively last year.

The case has rocked the state politics in the past four months. According to Law and Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath, the Public Works Department (PWD) under the previous Left Front government in 2008-09 had clubbed together 13 projects — five bridges, five buildings and three road projects — being implemented at a cost of Rs 638 crore on a cost-plus norms.

Terming it the “biggest scam in the history of Tripura”, Nath said Rs 164 crore had been siphoned off.

Opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist and Congress leaders, including former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government had hatched a conspiracy against CPI-M central committee member Choudhury to malign the previous Left government.

“No corruption had taken place during the 35-year rule (1978-1988 and 1993-2018) of the Left parties in Tripura. Instead, state infrastructure and all other sectors improved in the state,” Sarkar told the media.

–IANS

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