Chandigarh: Details of bank transactions running into crores, thousands of US and Canadian dollars and a large stock of expensive liquor have been recovered from the home of a Punjab bureaucrat, police have said.
The stash was found after a raid on Sunday night on the residence of Punjab’s sacked agriculture director Mangal Singh Sandhu, who has been accused in a multi-crore spurious pesticides scam.
The scam of spurious pesticides allegedly sold from government authorised stores has caused devastating losses to cotton farmers in Punjab’s Malwa region. At least 12 farmers have killed themselves in the last 45 days.
After being indicted by a Special Investigation Team, Dr Sandhu had been sent to three-day police remand yesterday.
In the raid, Bhatinda Police said they found Rs 4.14 lakh cash hidden in Dr Sandhu’s bedroom and nearly another lakh in foreign currency.
Papers of six residential properties and plots purchased between 1997 and 2015 with a market price of around Rs 5 crores and details of Rs 61 lakhs deposited in Dr Sandhu’s bank account during last one year, were also found, police said.
They also said 53 bottles of expensive scotch whiskey – more than eight times the permitted limit – were also recovered from his home.
According to government sources, the bureaucrat’s monthly salary a little over Rs 1 lakh.
Farmers in Punjab have launched protests across the state accusing Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s government of failing to crackdown on the alleged swindle.
Farmer unions are demanding the resignation of state agriculture minister Tota Singh and higher compensation for damaged crops.
The government, which has accepted the spurious pesticides caused the damage, has given supported the minister and announced Rs 600 crores in compensation.