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regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

Block files cop case on panchayat cash graft

Police will also be provided with the findings obtained during the administrative probe

Soumya De Sarkar Malda Published 02.08.22, 02:18 AM
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The block administration of Ratua-I block in Malda district has lodged a complaint with police, alleging the embezzlement of public money in at least two panchayats of the block.

The complaint was filed after the administration came across some primary evidence during a probe that hinted at monetary malpractice.

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Police will also be provided with the findings obtained during the administrative probe, said sources.

A few months back, the district administration came to know funds to the tune of Rs 5 crore allotted under the 100-days-work scheme (MGNREGS) had allegedly been siphoned from two panchayats.

A section of villagers in the panchayats had resorted to protests, alleging the embezzlement. A written complaint was also filed with the block administration in this regard.

“There was an allegation that around Rs 5 crore was siphoned in three consecutive financial years. A probe was initiated and it was found that around Rs 71 lakh was embezzled in Kahala gram panchayat and an equal amount in Barahal panchayat. The committee that carried out the probe submitted its report, following which the BDO was asked to file a complaint with the police,” said an official of the district administration.

During the probe, three employees posted in these panchayats were terminated from their services and departmental proceedings were initiated against five others.

Those terminated were working as gramin rozgar sahayaks and a technical assistant. The two dismissed rozgar sahayaks were from Baharal and Kahala panchayats and the technical assistant was from Kahala.

Departmental proceedings were ordered against two secretaries, two executive assistants and a nirman sahayak. The secretaries and executive assistants were from each panchayat and the nirman sahayak from Kahala.

“The state vigilance department is also conducting a probe. Now, the police will also investigate the case,” the official added.

Sources said it was found that a single project taken up under the MGNREGS was shown repeatedly to draw extra money in the name of fake beneficiaries.

Nitin Singhania, the district magistrate, said: “The state wants proper utilisation of public money. Each complaint will be thoroughly investigated and if any charge is found true, suitable action will be taken without hesitation.”

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