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Second arrest in HPCA land row, PWD executive engineer held

PTI | Last Updated: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 22:16

Shimla/Dharamsala: The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau on Wednesday arrested an executive engineer for alleged connivance with the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association in the case of demolition of a government building in Dharamsala near the international cricket stadium.

The HPCA is facing case of cheating and damage to public property.

The arrest of Devi Chand Chauhan comes a day after arrest of an ex-PWD employee in connection with the case. The Vigilance Bureau had yesterday arrested a retired Sub Divisional Officer MC Katoch in the same case.

Chauhan, executive engineer (designs) with north zone office of PWD, was serving on equivalent post at Dharamsala when the two-storey building of education department was allegedly demolished by the HPCA, Vigilance officials said.

Chauhan is accused of conniving with HPCA and forwarding a report regarding demolition of the government building, declared by Katoch as unsafe, without verifying the facts.

Katoch was the first to be arrested since a case of cheating and misappropriation was filed on August 1 against the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association, led by BJP MP and son of former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, Anurag Thakur.

He had declared the building unsafe without getting survey and technical report of the building.

The HPCA is facing two cases -- first of cheating and misappropriation over alleged wrong-doing in allotment of land, which according to revenue records was common village land, to the sports association for constructing a residential complex for the players near its stadium in Dharamsala.

In the second case, it has been accused of encroaching on 3,000 sq m government land.

The encroached portion is located near the main gate of the Dharamsala stadium.

The government building, located near the main gate of the cricket stadium, was demolished in 2008. The land, on which the building stood, was later allegedly encroached upon by the cricket body.

Meanwhile, the role of the then college principal is also under scanner in the case, officials said.

First Published: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 22:16

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