Officers of the Special Police Establishment (SPE) attached to the Lokayukt found Rs. 66.5 lakh in cash in addition to jewellery worth Rs. 15 lakh and land deeds of premises and Bhopal and Raisen during a search in the house of Superintending Engineer Prahlad Singh Patel.

“This is all hard earned money I got from agricultural produce,” said a tearful Mr. Patel, who is on deputation to the Narmada Valley Development Authority in Jabalpur. Mr. Patel has worked for the Water Resources Department since 1982, although SPE sources aren’t yet sure where the cash flowed in from.

“The money was hidden everywhere - in kitchen utensils, in clothes, in desks, in every room. The more we searched, the more we found,” said Superintendent of Police Siddharth Choudhary. Sleuths spent hours collecting the cash and several officers were engaged in counting the cash, in front of TV cameras and Mr. Patel.

Mr. Choudhary added that the wealth found was not proportionate to Mr. Patel’s income from declared sources and he was being charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act.