Amritsar, August 4
Two days after the Food Supply Inspectors Welfare Association opened a front against two RTI activists, claiming that they were blackmailing them, the duo today shot back at them, stating that revelations made by them had led to the unearthing of a multi-crore wheat scam.
Varun Sareen and Manjinder Singh Bhiri, both RTI activists, alleged that due to their complaints, the Punjab Government suspended around 18 food inspectors, four district food and supplies officers and demoted a deputy director. They alleged that they had not named particular persons and that strict action was taken against these officials by the government only after investigations.
Sareen, who had complained about the bogus blue-card holders in the 14-B Cantonment area, said it was a food inspector who had given him the information about the scam. He “used” him so that he could get transferred to the above said area. Later, after his transfer, he asked him to stop and withdrew the complaints, which was not acceptable to him.
The association while refuting the charges levelled by them said Sareen used to run an illegal money-laundering business and himself had a blue card. It alleged he was blackmailing them to shell out money for buying an SUV. The association urged the senior authorities, including the district administration, that both these RTI activists were habitual complainants. The department should inform and involve the association while conducting an inquiry into the allegations.