Sting operations lead to the arrest of secretaries of three UP Ministers following Yogi’s ‘zero tolerance for corruption’

The Yogi Adityanath government set up the SIT headed by Additional Director General (Lucknow zone) Rajiv Krishnan to probe the charges soon after ABP News aired the video

A special investigation team (SIT) of Uttar Pradesh police has arrested personal secretaries of three ministers, following a sting operation conducted by a news channel, on charges of corruption and bribery.

The incident came to light after ABP News caught secretaries of State Ministers Archana Tripathi, Sandeep Singh and Om Prakash Rajbhar, seeking bribe inside the Vidhan Sabha during a sting operation conducted on Wednesday.

The Yogi Adityanath government set up the SIT headed by Additional Director General (Lucknow zone) Rajiv Krishnan to probe the charges soon after ABP News aired the video in which the secretaries were caught ‘red-handed’ asking for money in exchange for getting work done.

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The arrested secretaries, who were immediately suspended (on December 28) after the video surfaced on December 27, were employed in the offices of Mining, Excise and Prohibition Minister Archana Pandey, Backward Classes Welfare Minister Om Prakash Rajbhar and Education Minister Sandeep Singh respectively. Om Prakash Kashyap- personal secretary of Backward Welfare Minister, Om Prakash Rajbhar, is purportedly seen seeking Rs 40 lakh for a transfer in the sting video.

In the same sting operation, personal secretary of Minister of State for Mining Archana Pandey was seen allegedly striking a deal with the channel’s reporter posing as the contractor, for getting him mining contracts in about six districts.

Similarly, Santosh Awasthi, personal secretary to MoS Basic Education Sandeep Singh, is also seen allegedly working out a deal for a contract for books and seeking his own cut.

The sting operation also produced alleged recordings of a secretariat staffer assuring the reporter that he would be awarded a schoolbag-and-uniform contract as a kickback.
The Uttar Pradesh government, in a statement late on Saturday night, said that “On getting sufficient evidence against the secretariat staff members, they have been arrested and sent to jail. The chief minister has a zero-tolerance towards corruption,” it stated.
The SIT is expected to submit its report within 10 days after taking statements for all concerned parties.

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