Punjab Vigilance Bureau books Barjinder Singh Hamdard, 25 others over ‘fund misuse’ : The Tribune India

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Punjab Vigilance Bureau books Barjinder Singh Hamdard, 25 others over ‘fund misuse’

FIR points to loss of Rs 27-cr in Rs 315-cr project

Punjab Vigilance Bureau books Barjinder Singh Hamdard, 25 others over ‘fund misuse’

Barjinder Singh Hamdard

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 22

The Punjab Vigilance Bureau on Wednesday registered a case against 26 persons, including Managing Editor of the Ajit Group of Publications Barjinder S Hamdard and IAS officer Vinay Bublani, for ‘misappropriation of funds’ in the construction of the Rs-315 crore Jang-e-Azadi Memorial Project at Kartarpur near here.

The VB has arrested 15 persons — Ludhiana-based builder Deepak Singal and 14 officials of the PWD — in connection with the case. An FIR has been registered against the accused at VB police station, Jalandhar range. While Hamdard has got a relief from the Punjab and Haryana High Court for a week, Bublani is learnt to be absconding.

The foundation stone of the project was laid by the late CM Parkash Singh Badal while its inauguration was done by ex-CM Capt Amarinder Singh. Badal had appointed Hamdard as the president of the Executive Committee and Bublani as the Chief Executive Officer for supervising the construction works. The VB has pointed to a financial loss of Rs 27.23 crore to the government exchequer by making extra payments to the contractors.

Refusing to give any comments, a family member of Hamdard has said he is yet to get a copy of the FIR.

Political support pours in

Several political leaders have come in support of Barjinder Singh Hamdard. LoP Partap Bajwa said he reached out to the EC yesterday, urging them to issue directions to the government to prevent retaliatory action against Hamdard. “This is a worrying trend of using state machinery to suppress the voice of the media”, he said.

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