Chandigarh: The Vigilance Bureau has initiated action in the alleged multi-crore scam in the irrigation department during the SAD-BJP government in Punjab. According to sources, a look out circular (LOC) has been issued by the Vigilance against three retired IAS officers, including Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, a former minister. Thus, all airports in the country have been informed.

Confirming this, a senior vigilance official said that it was necessary to issue LOCs of the concerned politicians and retired bureaucrats to take forward the investigation in the case.

According to vigilance sources, the retired IAS officers whose LOCs have been issued include former chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal, former special chief secretary K.B.S. Sidhu and former secretary Kahan Singh Pannu.

The Vigilance has received information that one of these officers is already abroad. Political leaders belonging to the Akali Dal are also running to their rescue. Vigilance officials said the file had reached the bureau last week after the Chief Minister cleared the probe and the process of issuing the LoC was initiated.

On the basis of documents sent by the Vigilance, the Intelligence Wing undertakes the process of issuing loC and it is necessary to send concrete information regarding the persons concerned. Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had approved the questioning of politicians and retired bureaucrats in connection with the alleged multi-crore irrigation scam just before leaving for Germany.

According to documents obtained from vigilance sources, Gurinder Singh alias Bhapa, who has been named by the investigating agency as the main accused in the irrigation scam, has given a confessional statement.

According to the statement, three retired IAS officers, two former ministers and personal assistants (PAs) of the two ministers received huge sums of money from the scam in the irrigation department.

This confessional statement by the Vigilance Bureau has been registered in the FIR. No. 10 dated August 17, 2017 was taken up in a case registered under sections 406, 409, 420, 467, 468, 471, 477, 120B IPC and sections of prevention of corruption act.

On the basis of these statements made under the Evidence Act, the investigating agency was to question the concerned persons and take the case forward. In this case, the Vigilance Bureau has also nominated the contractor Gurinder Singh, Gulshan Nagpal Axion, Paramjit Singh Ghuman Chief Engineer (Retired), Bajrang Lal Singla Axion, Harwinder Singh, Chief Engineer (Retired) Kaminder Singh Deol SDO (Retired), Gurdev Singh Minha, Chief Engineer (Retired) Vimal Kumar Sharma Supervisor and some officers, engineers and employees of irrigation department.

Vigilance officials say that all the facts and witnesses will be examined during the investigation of the case. Those who have not been included in the investigation so far will be called and if needed, those who were questioned earlier will also be called again. Due to the reopening of this case, during the Congress government.

The vigilance officers, who were involved in the investigation during the Congress government, are also unnerved due to the reopening of this case.

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