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Punjab Vigilance books Ajit Group editor others in Jang-e-Azadi memorial case

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Punjab Vigilance books Ajit Group editor others in Jang-e-Azadi memorial case
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Jalandhar: The Punjab Vigilance Bureau on Wednesday booked 26 people including the editor-in-chief of Ajit Group Barjinder Singh Hamdard and IAS officer Vinay Bublani over irregularities worth Rs 27 crore in execution of the Rs 315-crore Jang-e-Azadi Memorial at Kartarpur in Jalandhar, The Indian Express reported.

A senior officer reportedly said that 14 officials and a contractor were among those arrested in the case.

Rajeshwar Singh Sidhu, Senior Superintendent of Police, VB, Jalandhar Range said that owners of Deepak Builder, which secured the contract for constructing the memorial, and several executive engineers, SDOs, and contractors and manager of Godrej Group associated with the project were among those booked in the case.

It is reported that an FIR under sections 420, 406, 409, 465, 467, 468, 471, 120-B of the IPC and section 13(1)A read with 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act has been filed against the accused.

The VB, Chandigarh, in a statement said that ‘a direct financial loss of Rs 27.23 crore to the government exchequer has been done in the construction of the memorial by paying extra to the contractors and still the project is incomplete, which is another financial burden on the government.’

The official spokesperson said the case was filed after there emerged in investigation a ‘cardinal concern’ that several companies were given full payments without completing work as stipulated in the tender documents.

Out of the total 235 civil items, 103 were executed as non-scheduled works and contractor Deepak Builder was paid extra for them, the probe revealed, according to the report.

“Due to which many constructions/components like 10 statues, four galleries at first floor, memorial icon, food court, and atrium could not be constructed”, the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Pointing out the laser show, non-functional since 2020 however installed at the cost of Rs 14 crore, the spokesperson said: ‘Hamdard was responsible for this work but he did not perform his responsibilities and kept the laser show non-functional causing financial loss to the government.’

Hamdard was reportedly associated with the project as a member secretary of the Jang-e-Azadi Memorial Foundation and the chairperson of its executive committee.

Claiming that he had resigned from all his positions, Hamdard accused the AAP government of maligning the name of the memorial by sending police and vigilance teams”.

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TAGS:India NewsPunjab NewsJang-e-Azadi memorial casePunjab AAP government
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