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Since 1st March, 1999
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Wanted scamster roams free

Bokaro, Feb. 17: Tainted former deputy development officer M.L. Sharma, wanted by the state vigilance department for his involvement in the Rs 21-crore school building construction scam of November 2010, is roaming freely in Bokaro.

Sharma, who has an arrest warrant pending against him, was spotted today alighting from a red hatchback near the Bokaro DCís office and the State Bank of India (court branch) next door at 1.45pm.

When The Telegraph tried to intercept him and took his photograph on a mobile phone, Sharma ordered his driver to speed away.

The scam, involving misuse of funds meant for constructing state-run primary schools and Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya residential schools for girls, had exposed the unholy nexus between bureaucrats, schoolteachers and contractors.

Among the 32 accused, the kingpin, primary schoolteacher turned junior engineer Ashok Bharti, and five others are behind bars. Twenty-six others are wanted.

Sharma, among the many who have managed to elude the law, however, is roaming the streets of Bokaro freely.

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