The Lokayukta Police on Saturday raided the premises of a deputy inspector general (Jail) and his relatives and unearthed assets worth more than Rs 25 crore, in one of the biggest operations in Madhya Pradesh in recent times.
The raids in Bhopal and Sagar on the premises of DIG Umesh Gandhi and his brother, also employed in the jail department, led the Special Police Establishment to the recovery of five houses, plots, gold and silver jewellery and Rs four lakh in cash. They also found fixed deposits worth Rs two crore, insurance policies worth Rs 40 lakh and more than Rs 56 lakh in bank accounts among other assets.
A team of two-dozen SPE officials searched Gandhi’s official residence on Arera Hills and his brother’s house in Subhasnagar since early Saturday. Another team searched the premises owned by the Gandhis in Sagar.
The salary of Gandhi, who joined service in 1987, is a little above Rs 50,000 and the assets recovered are disproportionate to his known sources of income, said officials. Besides his brother, who is posted in Bhopal, Gandhi’s sister is also employed as a jail guard in Sehore.
Though Gandhi faced a couple of inquiries in the past none was pending against him. A senior jail official admitted that the process to recruit jail guards had recently been changed. While earlier superintendents used to appoint them — and allegedly used to make a lot of money — the Professional Examination Board, a government body, was entrusted with the job recently.
While the ruling party said the frequent raids against government employees meant that it was serious about fighting corruption, the opposition Congress alleged that the recovery of illegal assets worth Rs 1000 crore in the last one year from low-rung employees like peons and supervisors was a reflection on corrupt government and administration.