Indian Museum raided by CBI
A STAFF REPORTER
Indian Museum: Under scanner
Calcutta, Dec. 19: The CBI carried out raids on the Indian Museum and 16 other places spread over Calcutta and two other districts in Bengal on Friday night as part of a probe into allegations of corruption.
The agency’s anti-corruption wing had registered two cases last week, alleging irregularities against some officials of the institution.
Preliminary investigations suggested that some officials had shown expenditure against the purchase of security gadgets and renovation that remained only on paper. “There is a discrepancy between the gadgets purchased and the material shown on record over the past few years. Expenditure was also shown regarding renovation that was never carried out at the museum,” a CBI officer said.
The agency, which has been probing the charges over the past couple of years, has taken possession of some documents for further investigation.
The premises of five firms that had bagged contracts for the renovation on the basis of fake documents and disclosures were also raided. “We also searched the residences of some officials of the institution in North and South 24-Parganas. Some of these officials have assets disproportionate to their income. We have seized some paintings that we suspect to be fake but we will have to take expert opinion on that,” said the official.
The CBI has taken documents on the purchase of some equipment that were recommended to overhaul the security system after the theft of a Buddha idol in December 2004.
“We have found discrepancies in the purchase of some equipment and paintings. We suspect some of the employees had indulged in malpractice,” the CBI officer said.
According to him, the amount involved may run into lakhs and the racket thrived with the help of some officials. “We are scrutinizing the financial statements and bank accounts of the firms which bagged the contracts. Arrests are likely to be carried out soon,” another CBI officer said.
Museum Security Network / Museum Security Consultancy