OTHERS

CBI raids not the end, more in store

NEW DELHI, MAY 20. The raids conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the Congress(I) Deputy Leader of Delhi Vidhan Sabha, Mr. Sishpal, is not the end of the story. It is understood that the CBI is in the process of investigating the role of four MLAs, half a dozen senior officers and some senior politicians -- belonging both to the Congress(I) and the BJP -- in cases of land grabbing and mushrooming of unauthorised colonies.

In another related development, it is learnt that the Union Urban Development Minister, Mr. Jagmohan, who has been trying to set things right, has forwarded to the CBI a list of violations and names of possible land mafia, who have wrecked havoc in the Walled City. Mr. Jagmohan had, last month carried out a thorough survey of the area along with the local MP, Mr. Vijay Goel.

Significantly, the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, Mr. N. Vittal, had submitted a list of 93 corrupt officials to the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms. Sheila Dikshit, for stern action nearly four months ago. But nothing has happened. Many senior officials, who are in the list and are accused of indulging in corruption, continue to occupy high offices in the Delhi Government, reflecting poorly on the ruling party which has made corruption a core issue in the Assembly elections.

Sources said the CBI had prepared dossiers on these politicians and had even sought information from the Delhi Government including the Revenue Department, regarding the original revenue records and area plans of certain places falling in South and Outer Delhi. It is understood that more raids could be in the offing and the last word on has not been said. ``It is not that land grab in Tughlakabad Fort area alone is being probed. The mushrooming of unauthorised colonies in various parts of the Capital in previous years and the illegal sale and occupation of government land politicians is also under scrutiny,'' a senior official remarked.

It is believed that some Congress MLAs have also come under investigations and the CBI is presently engaged in gathering evidence. In addition, their contacts which mostly include property dealers and their business interests along with their holdings and sources of income are also being probed. ``It is not that these illegal colonies and slum clusters have come up without the patronage and connivance of politicians including some elected representatives. The role of certain MCD and DDA officials is also being probed and searches would be conducted,'' the official remarked.

Sources said some senior officials and their alleged dubious role in land grab was also being looked into. Also, certain former powerful politicians are also being probed. In fact, the sudden rise of certain MLAs in terms of money and power has raised eyebrows. A few years ago they had nothing but overnight they have not only prospered but have become influential. It could well form the basis for registering a case of disproporptinate assets.

Similarly, with regard to Old Delhi, Mr. Jagmohan is understood to have recommended a thorough probe into the builder mafia racket which have destroyed the traditional and heritage nature of the Walled City. The massive constructions by builders by means of encroachments and demolition of old heritage buildings has been taken seriously, and Mr. Jagmohan had sought to expose those behind this fraud. In fact, it is learnt that the role of senior MCD officials and some politicians is also being probed.