Driving on an anti-corruption mode, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has registered cases against six firms that had committed forgery in LED van operations in the state. Amit Shukla and Atul Shukla, two self-styled journalists and the masterminds of the scam, have been arrested. The FIRs have been lodged by the Deputy Director, Information Department at the Hazratganj police station against Admire Publicity, Fiscon Media, Media Logics, Khenksa Advertising, Coxa Publicity, and Mateshwari Enterprises.
As per sources, these firms had been assigned the task of running LED fitted vans in various districts to publicise various welfare schemes of the state government. The firms, however, did not own any LED vans but used forged documents to secure the contracts that ran into crores of rupees. When the submitted transport documents were inspected, it was revealed that the LED vans existed only on paper and dissemination of information was not being done at all.
A senior police official apprised of the arrests after preliminary investigations concluded and cases were registered. “It seems this is a major scam and some government employees in the information department could also be involved along with journalists in floating fake firms to obtain contracts. Further investigations will reveal the extent of the money involved in these forged operations,” said the senior police officer. Information department officials declined to comment on the matter.
The state information department is responsible for publicising the works of the government and acting as a bridge between the media and the government. However, in the past few years, the department has been increasingly relying on technology to publicise state schemes as relations between the top government bodies and media chilled. During the Akhilesh Yadav rule, the state information department started putting up huge LED screens in state capital Lucknow and then branched out with LED vans in districts and rural areas.