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Satya Pal Malik, who questioned Pulwama attack, now faces CBI raids over corruption

Satya Pal Malik, who questioned Pulwama attack, now faces CBI raids over corruption

Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, who questioned the Narendra Modi government in incidents that led to the Pulwama terror attack, has seen his premises being raided by the CBI in connection with the corruption in the awarding of a contract for a hydel project in the Union Territory.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) launched a series of raids spanning 30 locations in eight states and union territories, including three premises linked to Malik. The case pertains to purported irregularities in the awarding of civil works for the Kiru Hydro Electric Power Project (HEP) valued at Rs 2,200 crore.

Malik, who served as the governor of Jammu and Kashmir from August 23, 2018, to October 30, 2019, claimed to have been offered a bribe of Rs 300 crore for expediting the approval of two files, one of which concerned the aforementioned project.

Following the raids, Malik expressed his belief that government agencies were being manipulated to intimidate him. He stated that despite his hospitalization in recent days, searches were conducted at his premises, and his driver and assistant faced harassment.

Malik further asserted on social media that the CBI raided his residence instead of investigating individuals he had previously accused of corruption. "My residence was raided by the CBI instead of investigating the people I had complained about who were involved in corruption. They will not get anything except 4-5 kurtas and pyjamas. The dictator is trying to scare me by misusing government agencies. I am a farmer's son, I will neither be afraid nor bow down - Satyapal Malik (former governor)" #SatyapalMalik

According to CBI officials, the investigation was initiated based on allegations of malpractice in the contract award process for the civil works of the Kiru HEP to a private company in 2019.

The agency has named the former chairman of the Chenab Valley Power Projects (P) Ltd, Navin Kumar Chaudhary, along with other former officials M S Babu, M K Mittal, and Arun Kumar Mishra, as well as Patel Engineering Ltd, in the case.

Sources familiar with the matter revealed that the raids targeted locations in Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Mumbai, Bihar, and Rajasthan. Apart from Malik's residences in Delhi, Gurugram, and Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat, the operation also targeted properties belonging to his associates, including IAS officer Naveen Choudhary, former chairman of CVPPPL, MD MS Babu, and Directors M K Mittal and Arun Mishra.

This development follows Malik's previous involvement in controversies, including his claims last year regarding the Pulwama terror attack and allegations of bribery in connection with clearing official files, which led to CBI inquiries. The CBI registered cases in April 2022 concerning purported irregularities in two projects in Jammu and Kashmir during Malik's tenure as Governor.

The cases registered by the CBI involve allegations of malpractice in the awarding of contracts for the J&K Employees Health Care Insurance Scheme and the Kiru Hydro Electric Power Project (HEP).

In the latter case, the FIR filed by the CBI highlights discrepancies in the awarding of the civil works package for the Kiru Hydroelectric Power Project, alleging non-compliance with e-tendering guidelines.

The Kiru Hydel Project, with an estimated cost of Rs 4,287 crore, has faced scrutiny over allegations of sub-standard work and failure to provide employment opportunities to local unemployed youth.

Previous investigations by the J&K Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the power department revealed irregularities in the project's tendering process, including its cancellation and subsequent revival leading to the awarding of the contract to Patel Engineering.

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TAGS:Pulwama attackModi governmentSatya Pal Malik
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