Palike doubts BMTF ability to probe fake bill scam

Palike doubts BMTF ability to probe fake bill scam

Deputy mayor calls agency irresponsible

Speaking to mediapersons on Monday, Deputy Mayor S Harish and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner Siddaiah expressed “second thoughts” about the BMTF handling the probe into the fake bills scam in the Palike.

With an estimated Rs 300-400 crore misappropriation in the three divisions of the BBMP — Gandhinagar, Malleswaram and Rajarajeswari Nagar — Harish termed the BMTF “irresponsible” for failing to protect its office premises. “Being a police station in its own right, the BMTF ought to have protected its premises where documents have been stored. Why can’t they not have a sentry posted round-the-clock,” he asked.

When asked whether the Palike had confidence that the BMTF would ably handle the investigations, Commissioner Siddaiah said: “That is something which has been dogging us. We have to see.”

He said the Palike and the BMTF were in regular correspondence regarding investigations relating to the scam.

Udayshankar, leader of the Opposition in the BBMP, wondered how the BMTF, which employed regular police officers, and with an Inspector General rank officer heading it, could be negligent in protecting its own office building.

Ridiculing the snide remarks, R P Sharma, IGP, BMTF, said the task force police station was not a law and order police station.

“Like any other investigating office, be it the Lokayukta police or the CoD, the BMTF has its working hours between 10 am and 6 pm daily. Such trivial doubts could be cleared if one studies the Government Order on the functioning of the BMTF,” he said.

On the question of not having a sentry deputed to guard the BMTF premises, he said: “An unarmed sentry is as good as a private security guard. The task force is not a regular law and order police station.”

The IGP said the BMTF had been seeking to shift its office from the current location for safety reasons.

“We sought space in the ground floor to discharge our duties better. It is yet to be provided,” he said.

Reiterating their stance that they have no confidence in the BMTF, Siddaiah stated that despite the BMTF, currently investigating the scam, the BBMP had already written to the Department of Urban Development seeking permission to handover investigation to the Lokayukta.