Mumbai Police file FIR against UPL on EC complaint

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Mumbai, April 16 (IANS) The Mumbai Police on Tuesday registered an FIR against agrochemical manufacturer United Phosphorus Ltd (UPL) for allegedly preparing electronic poll propaganda material for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress said.

The FIR, lodged at Khar Police Station, North-West Mumbai, following a complaint by the EC, names Raju Shroff, one of UPL’s directors, as accused.

Last Tuesday, the EC team, along with state Congress General Secretary Sachin Sawant and others, searched the UPL office in the Khar area and allegedly found the BJP campaign material being prepared there. The EC team seized Rs 6 crore electronic cards and sealed the office.

It also found photographs of defence aircraft, army, air force, surgical strikes and recorded clips of voice messages of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speeches appealing people to vote for the BJP.

“As per the EC order, the armed forces cannot be used for poll purposes. But here, the BJP was engaged in making lakhs of e-pamphlets for distribution without the EC clearance. It’s obvious these won’t be accounted for in the poll expenses to be submitted to the EC,” Sawant said.

He also alleged under-age children were being used to stick electronic chips on e-pamphlets.

Demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe, Sawant said it was not clear since when the factory was operating, how many e-pamphlets had been produced and despatched for distribution among voters. The Congress also urged the EC to probe if more such factories were operating in Mumbai or Maharashtra.

UPL was the company that ran the Deonar dumping ground in Mumbai, he said. “Its toxic pesticides have led to death of around 40 farmers in Vidarbha in the past two years and health ailments to another 700. It is shocking that the BJP government investigated the matter and gave UPL a clean chit,” he said.

“These and other aspects of the company’s links with the BJP and its MP Sanjay Kakade must be probed by the CBI,” he said.



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