Some corporators taking bribes to facilitate illegal constructions: SMC Mayor

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SRINAGAR: Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Mayor Junaid Azim Mattoo has alleged that some corporators were involved in corruption and taking bribes to facilitate illegal constructions in the city.

“Lakhs of rupees in bribes have been found to be deposited electronically into the bank account of an elected representative in SMC over the course of the last two years.

The amount is roughly 1.4 crores with individual transactions running into lakhs,” Mattoo said in a series of tweets late on Tuesday.

He said multiple witnesses have come forward, narrating “horrific tales” of extortion and brazen corruption. Three citizens have recorded statements before the officials in this regard, he added.

“A @JKACB investigation is underway and the @JmuKmrPolice Crime Branch and @SrinagarPolice has also taken cognizance,” Mattoo said

He said the matter has been officially brought to the notice of the administration, seeking removal of the elected representative from a position of authority immediately, pending the final outcome of the investigation.

“Multiple witness statements have been recorded in the presence of Commissioner SMC, Srinagar Police officials and representatives of investigative agencies over the last two weeks. Documents and details sought from SMC have been promptly submitted to @JKACB – as sought,” he said.

The Mayor said a symbiotic eco-system that has thrived on corruption, forgery and extortion is trying to distract attention from the investigation.

“That won’t happen. There will be absolutely no compromise on corruption. The law will take its toll!” he said.

Mattoo said he would prefer the dissolution of the corporation and fresh elections than suppress the scam .

“And let this be a one-time, LOUD and CLEAR message to those two-bit, lumpen elements trying to pressurize me into suppressing this scam it is FAR better for me to seek the dissolution of SMC and fresh elections than to compromise with corruption and extortion,” he said. Mattoo, however, did not name any corporator.

The elections to the SMC are due next year. (PTI)