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Lokayukta bribery scandal: PRO Syed Riaz in SIT custody

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Bengaluru :The Special Investigation Team today took Joint Commissioner and Lokayukta PRO, Syed Riaz, into custody as part of its investigations into the alleged bribery scandal in the anti-graft ombudsman’s office.

The issue had rocked the Assembly and pressure had mounted for the exit of Lokayuta Bhaskar Rao.

“Riaz was today taken into custody for inquiring into the alleged bribery scandal in the anti-graft ombudsman’s office,” a SIT official said here.

The official said Riaz was picked up from a private hospital where he was admitted for health related issues.

Riaz had returned to Bengaluru on July 19 after he had been on a pilgrimage to Mecca, the official said. “Riaz had been on Umrah and returned to Bengaluru on July 19,” he said.

The official also said Riaz had applied for continuation of leave till July 31.

Rao is under pressure to quit over allegations that his son was involved in an alleged extortion racket run from the ombudsman’s office in which targetted officials were asked to cough up huge bribe to prevent a raid.

The alleged scam came to the light after Lokayukta Superintendent of Police Sonia Narang wrote a letter to Registrar about the complaint she received from a person who alleged that someone from the Lokayukta office demanded Rs one crore in bribe to avoid a raid.

Rao, a former High Court Chief Justice, has rejected the allegations that his son was involved in the racket and said he would resign if the charge was proved correct.

The issue has raised a storm both inside and outside the state legislature, and there has been growing pressure from Opposition parties and various organisations for removal of Rao and a CBI probe into the alleged racket.

PTI