Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Police probe DDA scam roots in UP

A team of Delhi Police’s elite Economic Offences Wing (EOW) Friday rushed to Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr after the arrested ex-official of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) said that he had used details of people from that district to apply for flats under the reserved category.
“We have sent a team to Bulandshahr after getting further leads in the case from accused M.L. Gautam,” a senior police officer said.
According to the police, Gautam, 62, had filed over 1,200 applications under categories reserved for Schedule Castes (SC) and Schedule Tribes (SC), and 40 flats were allocated against these.
Gautam, who retired from the DDA’s telephone exchange department in 2005, was arrested Thursday and a city court remanded him to eight-day police custody.
Police say Gautam had an office at Milansar Apartment in Paschim Vihar and lived in another flat in the same locality.
He has admitted that 40 flats were allotted on the applications he filed by fraudulently obtaining the details of applicants.
Most of the people on whose names he applied for flats hail from Bulandshahr.
Gautam is being touted as the brain behind the scam. The DDA had allotted over 5,000 flats in a lottery Dec 16.
So far EOW has made four arrests. Gautam and a Dwarka based real estate agent Raju Ram were arrested Thursday.
According to the police, Ram gave Rs.900,000 to Gautam to apply for 150 flats under the reserved category before the allotment. He obtained two post-dated cheques of Rs.450,000 as security.
Deepak Kumar, a law graduate who is said to have blown the lid on the scam, was arrested Sunday. The first one to be arrested was Laxmi Narayan Meena from Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu.
According to the police, Gautam’s name cropped up during the interrogation of Kumar, who was working for direct selling agents for two banks.
According to the police, Gautam befriended Kumar – both are residents of west Delhi’s Paschim Vihar – during morning walks.
Kumar reportedly told Gautam that he was applying for flats in the reserved SC category. Gautam apparently advised him that the chances of getting a flat in the ST category were higher and he should apply there. Gautam was also promised some share of the money, police say.
Kumar went to Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan and along with Lakshmi Narayan Meena collected information of over 200 villagers for making false applications, police said.
According to police sources, Deepak Kumar, Gautam and Suresh Meena, absconding real estate agent, had together filed over 2,000 applications.
The police said that all the accused had together invested Rs.6 million in the scam, of which Suresh Meena alone had invested Rs.3 million.

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