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Scams drill holes in Indira Awas

Patna, Jan. 6: More than 300 cases have been lodged against mukhiyas (village heads) and panchayat sevaks across the state for committing gross irregularities in the allotment of housing units to the people belonging to the weaker sections under the Indira Awas Yojana in the past two years.

The startling fact came to light during a review of complaints related to Indira Awas Yojana against the government officials and public representatives by the senior officials at the state police headquarters.

The police headquarters started review of the complaints related to the allotment of Indira Awas Yojana units on the directive of Chief minister Nitish Kumar.

During his month-long Vikas Yatra and Vishwas Yatra in 2010, the chief minister had received numerous complaints about irregularities in the allotment of housing units to the poor. Taking a serious note of the matter, Kumar later asked the state police chief to provide him the status of the complaints.

Acting swiftly, the director- general of police (DGP) directed all the superintendents of the police (SPs) to send status of the cases related to allotment of houses under the IAY scheme by December 31. The complaints varied from financial irregularity to discrepancy in the preparation of the list of beneficiaries.

The statistics compiled by the state police headquarters show that altogether 233 cases of financial irregularities had been registered with different police stations in 26 districts alone between 2009 and 2010. Of 628 accused persons, 306 were arrested and chargesheets submitted in respective courts in 59 cases.

Araria topped the list with 63 cases of financial irregularities. Altogether 324 government officials and public representatives have been booked from Araria. However, chargesheets have been filed in 23 cases only, sources in the police headquarters said.

Supaul district ranked second, followed by Purnea (16), East Champaran (15), Madhubani (14) and Katihar (11). Nalanda, Aurangabad, Bhagalpur, Siwan, Gopalganj, West Champaran and Banka districts registered one case each. The statistics revealed that 13 mukhiyas had so far been arrested and sent to jail.

DGP Neel Mani told The Telegraph that the police headquarters reviewed the progress in the investigation of cases related to financial irregularities in the implementation of the government scheme on the directive of the chief minister. “Instructions have been given to all the SPs to ensure that such cases are thoroughly investigated and the accused are punished for the crime,” he said.

He said that the SPs of the remaining districts have been asked to send the details of the cases related to Indira Awas Yojna at the earliest. “The chief minister had received petitions from people during his Vikas Yatra and Vishwas Yatra last year and subsequently complaints were registered,” the DGP added.

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