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Son’s arrest plot to malign me: Buta
Sack him, says BJP as Cong prefers to be a spectator
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 31
Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Buta Singh today said the arrest of his son, Sarabjot Singh, by the anti-corruption wing of the CBI in connection with a bribery case was a conspiracy of his political rivals to tarnish his image.

Addressing a press conference, he said, “This is a conspiracy to malign my political and personal life.” Buta’s son Sarabjot Singh, alias Sweety Singh, was arrested by the CBI yesterday on the basis of a complaint filed by Nashik-based municipal contractor Ramarao Tukaram Patil for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 1 crore from him. He was arrested in New Delhi and was taken to Mumbai last evening. The CBI is also trying to ascertain Sweety Singh’s involvement in hawala deals. Buta Singh said, “I had informed the Police Commissioner of Nashik on July 10 that more than 100 ex-safai karamcharis of the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) had apprised me that ex-contractor Ramarao Tukaram Patil had cheated them and taken loans against their names from the Chandrakanth Hari Badesar Urban Co-operative Society. The loans ranged from Rs 11 lakh to 15 lakh.”

All ex-karamcharis of the NMC had submitted their complaints on affidavits to the police, he said. The Nashik Police Commissioner and the Municipal Commissioner were advised to deliver the justice to the safai karamcharis by arresting the suspect. But the contractor remained absconding, Buta Singh said.

He said, “I was on tour to conduct state-level review meetings in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh from July 15 to July 22. On my arrival in Delhi, I was informed that Patil was trying to offer bribe to my staff and family members.” The CBI today claimed that besides Sarabjot Singh, three other suspects, Anup Begi from Pune, Madhu (alias Madan Singh) and Dhunka Singh, Mumbai-based hawala operators, were also arrested.

Sources in the CBI said Ramarao Tukaram Patil had named Sarabjot Singh and Anup Begi in his complaint. He had alleged a bribe of Rs 3 crore was demanded from him on July 16. Finally, it was agreed upon that Rs 1 crore would to be paid initially.

Around 100 workers employed by the contractor had filed a case against him for allegedly not paying them wages and taking loans wroth Rs 10 crore in their names, CBI sources said. Sweety Singh was allegedly in touch with those workers. He approached Ramarao Tukaram Patil with an offer to get the case withdrawn if he paid Rs 3 crore, the investigators said.

The CBI carried out searches at six places in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and New Delhi. A sum of Rs 5.2 lakh was seized from a suspected hawala operator in Bangalore, besides telephone diaries and rough account of hawala dealers.

Meanwhile, National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) chairman Buta Singh could be heading for trouble with the Congress washing its hands off him and saying it was up to the government to decide on his continuance as head of the commission after the CBI arrested his son in an alleged corruption case.

When asked whether Buta Singh should continue as the NCSC chairman, All-India Congress Committee media department in-charge Janardan Dwivedi said: “Law will take its own course and it is for the government to look into it”.

Dwivedi said Singh was no longer a Congressman as he was “expelled” during the Lok Sabha election after he contested as an Independent from Rajasthan.

Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde today demanded that Centre should sack the NCSC chairman Buta Singh accusing him of indulging in “open corruption” after his son was arrested for allegedly demanding a bribe to close a case being probed by his father.

“Buta Singh has given a notice to take action against Patil and has accepted bribe to compromise the case. It is a case of open corruption and we demand that Buta Singh should be removed from his post,” Munde said.

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Sarabjot admits involvement

Sarabjot SinghNew Delhi/Mumbai: Buta Singh's son Sarabjot Singh is reported to have cracked under the CBI’s pressure and admitted on Friday to his involvement in a bribery scam. Sarabjot allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs one crore from a Nashik-based contractor to close a case before the commission.

Accused in CBI custody

Mumbai: Sarobjit Singh was on Friday sent to CBI custody till August 5 along with three other persons arrested. They were produced before Special CBI Judge SP Hayatnagarkar, who sent them to six-day CBI custody. — PTI

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