Former managing director of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited AP Mishra was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the investment of over Rs 2,600 crore of the state power employees' provident fund in scam-hit housing finance firm DHFL. "Mishra has been arrested... Economic Offence Wing of the state police is probing the matter and strict action will be taken against those involved in this case," Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh told PTI. An official spokesman said that Mishra, who was close to former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and known as "Arab Pati Mishra" was "sacked" from his post of MD on March 24, 2017 after the Yogi Adityanath government came to power.
"Apprehending his termination, Mishra took away many important files. He was the first engineer to be promoted as MD of UPPCL and was given extension thrice by Akhilesh after his retirement," he said.
He was also seeking ticket from the Samajwadi Party to contest the Lok Sabha polls and was involved in various scams in the previous regime, he said.
Adityanath's office attacked Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Twitter over the issue.
"The attack on corruption by 'zero tolerance sword' of Yogi Adityanath has made those involved in corrupt practices run for cover. Former UPPCL MD AP Mishra, the blue-eyed boy of Akhilesh Yadav, has been taken into custody," it tweeted.
It questioned Yadav about the nature of their relationship and said the present government was committed to ensure the security of the employees' money. "Apki baar bhrashtar par prahar (This time, an attack on corruption)," it said. BSP president Mayawati said the BJP government should protect the interest of employees and compensate them.
"What will allegations and counter-allegations do when BJP government cannot prevent the 'mahaghotala' (big scam) of investing the hard-earned money of power employees in private company," she tweeted.
"In this EPF scam, there will be no concrete conclusion due to the lax attitude of the state government. Besides the CBI probe, strict action is needed against the individuals in important posts, who were negligent, as people are waiting for it," she said.
An FIR was filed at the Hazratganj police station in Lucknow on Sunday in this case against Praveen Kumar Gupta, the then secretary of the Uttar Pradesh State Power Employees' Trust and the Provident Fund Trust of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited, and Sudhanshu Dwivedi, the then director, finance, of the UPPCL. Both Gupta and Dwivedi were arrested on the same day. The state government had earlier recommended a CBI probe in the case and Adityanath had directed the director general of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) to investigate the case till the CBI takes over the matter.