Data operator arrested for stealing Kanyashree cash
Police have arrested an outsourced computer operator of a school in South 24-Parganas for allegedly stealing Rs 8 lakh meant for Kanyashree beneficiaries.
The accused, Sandip Roy, allegedly replaced the bank account numbers of the Kanyashree beneficiaries with those of his relatives while uploading personal data on the portal of the state government’s flagship scheme for girl students.
Police said Sandip, who is attached to Shyamsundar Balika Vidyalaya in Joynagar, and his father Anup Roy were arrested from their residence on Friday night on the basis of a complaint lodged by the school authorities with Joynagar police.
The Bengal government launched Kanyashree in 2013 in a bid to keep girls in school and prevent child marriage. Under it, girl students aged between 13 and 18 get a scholarship of Rs 1,000 every year and a one-time grant of Rs 25,000 when they turn 18.
Sandip’s alleged foul play came to light after some Kanyashree beneficiaries of the school recently apprised school authorities that the cash benefit under the scheme had not been credited to their bank accounts.
A probe by school authorities revealed that the bank account numbers of these students did not match with the ones registered on the Kanyashree portal.
The probe revealed that the erroneous entries of beneficiary bank account numbers were made between 2017 and 2020. This made school authorities suspicious of Sandip.
“It became clear to us that Sandip had a role behind the errors. An inquiry with the banks revealed that the accounts are actually linked with Sandip’s relatives. It became obvious that Sandip had deliberately replaced the bank account numbers of the students with those of his kin to fraudulently get the money,” said Swagata Mandal, headmistress of the school.
“Being the computer operator Sandip handled all financial data and uploaded it to the portals. It was not a case of error but deliberate fraud to steal the money meant for beneficiaries,” she further added.
Basana Laskar, a beneficiary of Kanyashree, said she was among those girls who had recently made an appeal to the school to check why the money did not reach her bank account.
“I have been told that the benefit had been credited to a different account tagged against my name,” she said.
An officer of Joynagar police station said that during preliminary interrogation Sandip had confessed that he had changed the bank account numbers with the help of his father. “As his father was an accomplice in the fraud, we have arrested both,” the policeman said.