MIRPUR (AJK) - The Azad Jammu & Kashmir Accountability Bureau (AJKAB) on Saturday arrested two retired chief engineers of AJK Public Works Department in a reference filed by the AJK government for their alleged involvement in a corruption case.

The case is related to the construction work of the building of AJK government-run Kashmir Centre in Lahore. Both the retired officials including Ch Illayas and Sheikh Shujaat Jalil Ahmed of Buildings and PHED wings of the AJK PWD were nabbed by the AJK Accountability Bureau after their bail plea in the above case were rejected by the Accountability Court Mirpur.

The ex-officials, netted from the premises of the learned Accountability Court, were shifted to the Safe House of the AJK Ehtesab Bureau Mirpur for further interrogation, spokesperson of the AJK Accountability Bureau told media here on Saturday.

According to the reference filed by the AJK government in the AJK Accountability Bureau, the Rs140 million project of the construction of the building of Kashmir Centre was inked by the AJK government over a two kanal piece of land. It was gifted on lease by the Punjab government in Lahore to the AJK government as a mark of solidarity with the people of Jammu & Kashmir.

The AJK government planned the construction work on the land in 2006-2007. The arrested accused were holding the offices of Superintending Engineer (Buildings) and Chief Engineer (Buildings - South) of PWD respectively at the time of planning for construction work of the project. By misusing their powers, they issued work order for the construction of the project without any formal administrative approval and No Objection Certificate from the higher authorities. As a result, the project could not be completed on time despite the payment of millions of rupees was made against the mega project, according to the spokesperson.

At the site of the project, the construction work is equal to nothing, the spokesperson added. Deputy Chief Prosecutor AJK Accountability Bureau Ch Aurangzeb represented the Ehtesab Bureau in the case while Raja Khalid Khan Advocate and Riaz Tabassam Advocate appeared on behalf of the accused. Investigation against other accused involved in the case is also in progress and would soon be completed, the spokesperson concluded.