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Wadhawans' Lockdown Jaunt: Cong's Sanjay Nirupam Primarily Suspects Hand Of MVA Leaders

Calling for an impartial probe into the Wadhawans' visit to Mahabaleshwar, Congress' Sanjay Nirupam alleged that someone within the system was aiding them

Written By
Akhil Oka

On Friday, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam called for an impartial probe into the Wadhawans' visit to Mahabaleshwar in violation of the COVID-19 lockdown guidelines. Claiming that the ED had offered a long rope to DHFL promoters Dheeraj and Kapil Wadhawan, he observed that someone within the system was helping them evade the legal proceedings. Thereafter, Nirupam clarified that he mainly suspected ruling politicians in Maharashtra to have influenced Principal Secretary (Home) Amitabh Gupta in allowing the Wadhawans to travel. At the same time, he added that a thorough investigation was necessary owing to the close contact between the Wadhawans and some BJP leaders. Congress is a part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra. 

Read: Republic TV Accesses First Pictures Of Wadhawans During Mahabaleshwar Lockdown Jaunt

Read: Devendra Fadnavis Alleges Role Of 'political Bosses' In Allowing Wadhawans' Lockdown Jaunt

Wadhawans apprehended in Mahabaleshwar

The DHFL promoters are being probed in connection with the DHFL and Yes Bank cases. They had skipped the summons of the Enforcement Directorate on March 17 citing the COVID-19 pandemic. As per sources, the Wadhawans have been travelling to other cities since then. They reportedly proceeded for Mahabaleshwar after the owner of their rented property in Khandala asked them to leave. The local informants of the central investigative agencies learnt about the presence of the Wadhawans in Mahabaleshwar after their neighbours raised an alarm about movement in the locality despite the lockdown.

Subsequently, the 23 members of the Wadhawan family were detained and sent to a quarantine centre. They have been booked under sections 188, 269 and 270 of the Indian Penal Code besides relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act and COVID-19 regulations. Both the CBI and ED have requested the authorities to not allow the DHFL promoters to leave after the completion of the quarantine period as there were non-bailable warrants pending against them.

Read: 'Officer Only Scapegoat': BJP Seeks Maha HM's Resignation Over Wadhawans Lockdown Jaunt

Additional Chief Secretary Manoj Saunik to probe the role of bureaucrat

In a surprising turn of events, it emerged that the Wadhwans were able to reach Mahabaleshwar on producing a letter written by Principal Secretary (Home) Amitabh Gupta. The letter stated that the Wadhawans were his family friends and travelling for a 'medical emergency'. Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh confirmed that Gupta had been sent on compulsory leave pending the outcome of the inquiry. Additional Chief Secretary Manoj Saunik will investigate the bureaucrat's role in allowing the Wadhawans to travel and submit a report within 15 days' time. 

Read: Uddhav Govt Sends Own Principal Secy On Leave For Letting Wadhawans' Lockdown Violation


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