Uttarakhand: Journalist's house demolished, who exposed corruption

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Dehradun, Aug 5: Chief Minister Harish Rawat led-Uttarakhand government reportedly ordered to demolish the house of a journalist, who aired sting on his personal secretary Mohammad Shahid.

According to a report published in TOI, the government claimed that journalist Ashok Pandey's home was being demolished as it was built without valid permissions.


However, the opposition BJP and media-persons lodged protest against the government's move.

[BJP releases sting operation of Harish Rawat, demands Uttarakhand CM's resignation]

While defending its action, Mussoorie-Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA) maintained that Pandey's house in Tagore Villa area of Dehradun, was not constructed as per the layout plan.

MDDA also said that Pandey had been informed about the violation in 2012 and the order of demolition was issued on July 10, 2015.

"Illegal portion of the structure was demolished in the presence of police and district administration officials", MDDA further said.

On Wednesday, July 22, Pandey's sting operation video was made public in Delhi.

[Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat rejects BJP allegations, calls the party 'desperate']

Pandey was quoted saying as to the TOI, "I fear for my life. If anything happens to me or my family, it'll be the sole responsibility of CM Harish Rawat. I only did my job as journalist to expose the corruption."

"The CM is shielding his official. I am filing a PIL in Uttarakhand high court seeking removal of the IAS officer (Mohammad Shahid) as well as a CBI probe into the case since the state government is unwilling to take any action in the matter", he further added.

He also said that the government is only targeting his house, whereas thousands of such buildings exist.

Meanwhile, Rawat had rejected BJP's allegations of corruption against him over alleged changes in liquor policy saying the party was "desperate" and making the charge to deflect national attention from scams involving its top leaders.

At the same time, he promised action against Mohammad Shahid, his personal secretary, who the BJP has alleged had demanded commissions from private dealers for being given liquor license, if it is proved that he was the one doing it in a video clipping shot during a sting operation.

The Chief Minister further said that he was "not sure" if the person seen in the video footage released by BJP was Shahid. He, however, maintained if it is proved that person indeed is Shahid and that he had involvement in the matter, then action will be taken against him. [BJP turns tables on Congress, accuses Uttarakhand CM of corruption in liquor licences]

In the sting video, Shahid is shown purportedly bargaining with middlemen and private liquor distributors about the commission to be given to him for allowing them instead of government undertakings to distribute liquor in Dehradun.


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