Khurshid trust: Handicap centres raided

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 15, 2012 15:03 hrs

A day after Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid responded to the charges of embezzlement, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Uttar Pradesh Police conducted raids on handicap welfare centres in different districts of the state on Monday in connection to the controversies related to his Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust.

The EOW reportedly conducted raids in 16 districts across the north Indian state on Monday after launching a probe into the matter on Sunday.

"Four teams have been constituted for probe in 17 districts where irregularities are suspected," Director General (DG) of EOW, Subrata Tripathi, told media on Sunday.

He said one team is working under the Meerut sector while the other three teams are working under the Kanpur sector.

Social actovist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal earlier in the day added pressure on Khurshid and his trust by producing more evidences against him to counter the proof given by him on Sunday in connection to charges of embezzlement brought against him by a TV sting operation.

He alleged that most people on Khurshid´s list did not receive equipment.

"His trust provided aids to dead persons. One of the beneficiaries of the schemes was not even physically challenged," Kejriwal said.

Kejriwal made the remarks a day after Khurshid responded to the charges of embezzlement and came up with pictures and documents to show camps for disabled were held in different districts of Uttar Pradesh by his Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust.

He showed photographs of the camps and even a utilisation letter that mentioned Rs 71.5 lakh.

Khurshid also showed audited accounts that had appliance details for the disabled.

According to the TV network´s report, Khurshids´ Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust had been granted Rs 71.50 lakh by the union social welfare and empowerment ministry for distributing tricycles and hearing aids to the disabled in Uttar Pradesh.

Forging signatures of senior officials in several districts of the state the NGO embezzled funds off the grants and deprived the physically challenged who were eligible for benefits under the scheme.

Both Salman Khurshid, who is the president of the Trust, and his wife -- the project director -- have vehemently denied any wrongdoing even as activist-turned politician Arvind Kejriwal lambasted the couple over the graft charges.

The accusations were used by Kejriwal and his supporters to launch a campaign against the Law Minister and demand his resignation.

"If Khurshid has any shame, he will resign today," Kejriwal said on Sunday.

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