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Political conspiracy against me: Buta
Published on 3 Aug. 2009 11:32 PM IST
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Former home minister Buta Singh Monday accused the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of executing a “political conspiracy” against him by “framing” his son Sarabjot alias Sweety Singh, who was arrested for allegedly accepting a a bribe of Rs.1 crore. “It is a political conspiracy against me and the CBI is responsible for masterminding it. CBI is not playing the role of an investigating agency. I and my son are being victimised,” Buta Singh told reporters here. Buta Singh, who is now chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST), refused to identify the person or political party behind the whole episode. “I won’t share it with the media and will disclose when the right time comes,” he said. Sweety Singh was arrested Friday on charges of accepting a Rs.1 crore bribe -- the first instalment of the Rs.3 crore (Rs.30 million) that he had allegedly demanded from Nashik-based contractor Ramraj Patil to facilitate the withdrawal of a case against Patil. The case was being investigated by the SC/ST commission that Buta Singh heads. Sweety Singh has been remanded to police custody by a Mumbai court till Aug 5. According to the CBI, the corruption case against Sweety Singh follows a complaint from Patil. More kin in CBI net The CBI was likely to question the father-in-law of Sarobjit Singh, son of Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Buta Singh, as the agency claimed calls from his cellphone were traced to alleged hawala dealers. The CBI has also sealed five shops in Mumbai belonging to the alleged hawala dealers Madan Solanki and Dukhsingh Chauhan, who is an accused in the bribery case against Sarobjit Singh and is on the run, and the material seized from there has been handed over to the Enforcement Directorate for investigations. “We might question Sarobjit Singh’s father-in-law. According to investigations, he used his father-in-law’s mobile to make calls to hawala operators and other accused,” Joint Director (Western Region) Rishiraj Singh said here. The CBI had roped in Enforcement Directorate to help investigations of a bribery case involving Singh and trace Chauhan. “We have also sealed five shops in Mumbai belonging to the hawala operators Solanki and Chauhan. The shops have been handed over to ED for further investigations,” Singh said. Chauhan was earlier arrested under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities (COFEPOSA) Act and spent over a year in jail between 1995 and 2000. A CBI team is in Bangalore searching for the third alleged hawala operator Shamalal Chaudhari who was to receive the money from Chuahan and transfer it to Delhi to Sarobjit alias Sweety Singh. CBI arrested 40-year-old Sarobjit on July 31 for allegedly demanding a Rs one crore in bribe from a Nasik-based contractor Ramarao Patil to close a case with teh Commission against him. Three others including Anu Begi, the middleman and two hawala operators, who were said to be working for Sarobjit, were also arrested. Begi, according to the sources, had told the probe agency that Buta Singh was also in the know-how about the case, a charge denied by the Chairman of the Commission. CBI Director Ashwani Kumar had earlier said that if need be they would also question Buta Singh.

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