Two held in Andhra Pradesh for destroying PCB files

Speaking to TNIE, Krishna district SP Adnan Nayeem Asmi said the case is under investigation and a special team was constituted to verify the files destroyed by PCB staff.
The files belonged to the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) and Pollution Control Board (PCB)
The files belonged to the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) and Pollution Control Board (PCB) Photo | Express

VIJAYAWADA: Two individuals have been arrested for setting afire files, hard disks, identity cards and other official material belonging to the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) and Pollution Control Board (PCB). The State government has ordered a detailed probe into the incident, which took place on the outskirts of Pedapulipaka village late on Wednesday.

The accused have been identified as Rama Rao, who works in the PCB, and Nagaraju — a car driver.

On noticing fire and smoke emanating from an isolated place in Srinagar Colony on Pedapulipaka Katta Road, villagers rushed to the spot fearing that a fire had broke out.

They noticed two people taking out files from three stuffed bags and setting them on fire. The duo fled in the car on seeing the villagers, but were caught eventually.

The villagers alerted Penamaluru MLA Bode Prasad, who reached the spot and handed over the duo to police. A case was registered under relevant sections.

Submit report on measures taken to ensure safety of files: Dy CM

While interrogating the duo, Penamaluru police learnt that the files and other material were destroyed on the instructions of ‘higher officials’. Sources said four more persons, working in the PCB and APMDC, were taken into custody for questioning. They reportedly confessed that they had acted on the directions of former PCB chairman Sameer Sharma.

“We could not decipher what the documents were regarding as most of them were burnt. However, photos of former minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy and former PCB chairman Sameer Sharma were on the files, leading to suspicion that YSRC leaders and officials were trying to erase all the evidence of irregularities committed during their regime. We are trying to find the reasons behind the burning of the files,” said Penamaluru MLA Bode Prasad.

Speaking to TNIE, Krishna district SP Adnan Nayeem Asmi said the case is under investigation and a special team was constituted to verify the files destroyed by PCB staff.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister (Environment and Forests) K Pawan Kalyan instructed officials to carry out a fair probe and asked them to take stringent action against those responsible for the incident. He asked officials to submit a report on safety measures being taken to preserve the files, reports and other documents in the PCB office. He also wanted to know the procedure adopted for disposal of unwanted files and records. Further, he directed officials to focus on the maintenance of files and records.

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