Jammu, Nowshera military farms under CBI scanner

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April 8:Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started investigations into the allegations of corruption and non-payment of dues to contractors at two military farms in Jammu and Nowshera.

CBI took up the matter for investigation after receiving two complaints last year against some officers, including civilians, posted at these military farms and the branch overseeing these farms at the Northern Command headquarters in Udhampur.

One of the complainants has alleged misappropriation of government money, fabrication of documents and payments made to unauthorised persons by the said officers in the procurement of bales of hay valued at several crores of rupees. Records were fudged over the quantity of hay received at military farms, and only part payments were made to the contractor, the complainant has alleged.

Further, the security deposit for the tender was also not released. There are a number of military farms across the country which provide fresh milk and milk products to the armed forces through the livestock maintained by it. Conceived in 1889 by the British, the military farms are being shut down in a phased manner with only a handful now functional as their relevance has been reduced because of the easy availability of milk from the civilian markets.

According to sources, CBI officials visited the office of the Director, Military Farms, in the Northern Command last month and have also been to the two military farms several times. They have taken various documents and records into their custody for scrutiny and have questioned some persons.

The counsel for the complainant, Col SK Aggarwal (retd), maintained that he was contacted by the CBI officials twice over the past few weeks for providing some information pertaining to the matter. He said a complaint had been made earlier too over the issue to the Army authorities in the Northern Command, but the case had been closed after a one-man inquiry.

 

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