• Agency

Uttarakhand CM Dhami's PRO suspended

Dehradun (PTI) Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami's PRO Nandan Singh Bisht has been suspended, days after he had written to the Bageshwar SP asking him to cancel the challans of three vehicles, official sources here said on Sunday.

Bisht has been suspended with immediate effect and a probe ordered into the episode, they said.

Bisht had written to the Bageshwar Superintendent of Police (SP) on his letterhead on December 8 on the basis of an "oral order" of the chief minister, asking him to cancel the challans of three vehicles alleged to have been used for illegal mining activities. The challans had been issued on November 29.

The letter also gave the registration numbers of the three vehicles.

After Bisht's letter went viral on social media, the Chief Minister's Office on Saturday issued an order asking OSDs, PROs, Coordinators and the Chief Coordinator at the CMO not to use their official letterheads for issuing administrative orders with their signatures.

The main opposition Congress alleged that the vehicles challaned were carrying illegal mining material and charged the state government with giving protection to the mining mafia.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Pritam Singh said, "We have all along been saying that the state government is protecting the mining mafia. The PRO's letter is only a confirmation of what we have been saying."

Hitting back at the Congress, state BJP media incharge Manveer Chauhan said when Harish Rawat's sting video, allegedly showing him negotiating a deal to buy back support of rebel MLAs, surfaced the Congress took no action and now it is making a hue and cry about a letter whose authenticity is yet to be proved.