Secretaries of Three UP Ministers Arrested After Sting Op Catches Bribe Demands on Tape
The three had been suspended on orders of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who had also directed officials to register a police case against them.
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Lucknow: Three secretariat staff attached to Uttar Pradesh ministers were arrested on charges of graft on Saturday, days after a sting operation was conducted by a news channel.
The three had been suspended on orders of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who had also directed officials to register a police case against them. The case is being probed by a Special Investigation Team (SIT), which has been asked to submit its report within 10 days after taking statements of all parties.
Directives have also been issued to the secretariat administration for review of such matters so that such cases do not recur, officials said.
According to reports in a section of the media, a sting operation was conducted by a TV channel purportedly showing three personal secretaries of ministers allegedly seeking bribe in return for favours such as transfers and issuing of contracts.
In the sting operation, Om Prakash Kashyap, personal secretary of Backward Welfare Minister Om Prakash Rajbhar is purportedly seen seeking Rs 40 lakh for a transfer.
Rajbhar, who is a minister from the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), said he has removed his personal secretary and written a letter to the chief minister for stern action against him.
In the same sting operation, an aide of Minister of State for Mining Archana Pandey, is shown allegedly striking a deal with the channel's reporter for getting him mining contracts in about six districts.
Santosh Awasthi, personal secretary to the MoS Basic Education Sandeep Singh, is also seen in the sting operation allegedly working out a deal for a contract for books and seeking his own cut.
Singh is the grandson of former UP chief minister and current Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh.
The sting operation also produced alleged recordings of a secretariat staff assuring the reporter, who posed as a contractor, that a school bag and uniform contract would be swung in his favour.
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