Covid-19: IPS officer sent on leave over Wadhawans’ travel amid lockdown

Maharashtra government on Friday sent a senior IPS officer on compulsory leave for allowing promoters Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan to travel despite the ongoing lockdown, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said.

The bureaucrat had issued a letter exempting the Wadhawans from the lockdown norms citing a family emergency.

“As per discussion with Hon. CM, Mr Amitabh Gupta, Principal Secretary (special), has been sent on compulsory leave with immediate effect, till the pending of enquiry, which will be initiated against him,” Deshmukh tweeted.

The Wadhawans were detained in Maharashtra’s Satara district on Thursday for violating prohibitory orders amid lockdown, police said.

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Police found 23 people, including members of the Wadhawan family, at their farmhouse, an official said.

According to local police officials, the Wadhawan family, along with others, travelled from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar on Wednesday evening in their cars, even when both Pune and Satara districts are sealed amid ongoing lockdown for containing

Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan are accused in Yes Bank and fraud cases.

They were spotted at their ‘Diwan farm house’ by civic authorities, officials said.

The (ED) had recently issued summons to Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan in Yes Bank case and asked them to appear on March 17.

The Wadhawans reportedly cited the pandemic and skipped the appearance, officials said.

Meanwhile, opposition BJP has latched onto the issue.

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Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Devendra Fadnavis wondered how could one vacation in Mahableshwar with official permission from the police when lockdown is in force.

“No lockdowns for mighty and rich in Maharashtra?. One can spend holidays in Mahabaleshwar with official permission from police,” the former chief minister said.

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