The personal secretaries of three Uttar Pradesh ministers have been arrested on charges of bribery and for allegedly striking illegal deals, NDTV reported on Sunday. Chief Minister Adityanath suspended the three last week after a sting operation aired by ABP News on December 26 allegedly caught them seeking bribes at the Vidhan Sabha.
A Special Investigation Team of the state police appointed to handle the case arrested Ramnaresh Tripathi, Santosh Awasthi and Om Prakash Kashyap. They have been sent to prison, ANI reported.
The accused were secretaries to Mining, Excise and Prohibition Minister Archana Pandey, Backward Classes Welfare Minister Om Prakash Rajbhar, and Education Minister Sandeep Singh. While Tripathi and Awasthi were allegedly seen striking illegal deals in the sting video, Kashyap – Rajbhar’s secretary – allegedly accepted a Rs 40-lakh bribe in exchange for aproving a transfer.
While Rajbhar is the leader of the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, Pandey and Singh are from the Bharatiya Janata Party.
ABP News also produced recordings in which a person said to be a secretariat staff member is reportedly heard promising its journalist – who posed as a contractor –
contracts for schoolbags and uniforms. The state government has ordered the Secretariat Administration Department to verify if there are other such cases of illegal transactions, ANI reported.