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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Indian diplomat seen as key to graft probe

Indian diplomat seen as key to graft probe

A high-ranking diplomat with the Indian Embassy in Phnom Penh has been summonsed to provide information to a panel investigating an alleged land grab in Mumbai involving senior officials, Indian media reported yesterday.

Saurav Ray, first secretary at the embassy, is reportedly the whistleblower in the alleged scam in which military officers and political officials are under investigation for allowing a 31-storey apartment block to be built on military land in Mumbai.

Ray, then an official overseeing military land in and around Mumbai, had reportedly opposed the development as a security threat, warning in 2003 that the building would allow occupants sweeping views of Mumbai’s naval and army bases.

Military and government officials are under investigation by a governmental panel investigating the so-called “Adarsh housing scam”.

The panel has summoned Ray, via India’s Ministry of External Affairs, to provide information on the case, a member of the panel was quoted as saying, adding that Ray could be called to testify before it.

Ray declined to say whether or not he would testify before the panel, telling the Post: “My dear sir, I cannot comment on the issue”. Indian media reports say he had been sent to a series of “hardship posts” after objecting to the alleged scam.  

India has seen widespread protests over corruption of late. Demonstrators have expressed revulsion at the “culture of impunity” that allows corruption to thrive, during  what has been called India’s “summer of rage”.

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