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Uttarakhand police to get economic offences wing

The move to add an EOW to the police assumes significance since Harish Rawat, soon after nine Congress MLAs rebelled triggering a political crisis in the state, had accused rebel leader Harak Singh Rawat of being involved in large-scale land grabbing

The Uttarakhand government has decided to add an economic offences wing (EOW) to its police force primarily to investigate cases of land grab and benami property, an official said on Friday.

A decision to this effect was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Thursday, the official said.

It was the first cabinet meeting after President’s Rule in the state was revoked and the Congress government reinstated.

The move to add an EOW to the police assumes significance since Harish Rawat, soon after nine Congress MLAs rebelled triggering a political crisis in the state, had accused rebel leader Harak Singh Rawat of being involved in large-scale land grabbing.

Rawat had also accused Harak Singh of trying to scuttle some legislative bills that would have “hurt his business interests”.

The move is the chief minister’s attempt to get even with his opponents and rivals both inside and outside the party, said political observers here.

“While it is a populist move that would be termed an anti-graft initiative, I am sure many will find it a clear case of political vendetta,” a BJP leader said.

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