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Our Economic Bureau/
Sunita Devi, a vegetable vendor of Ghogha some 9 km from Soubur block has been wondering Srijan Mahila bank for withdrawal of money deposited in it for last two days. Quite unfazed and unaware of the developments, she repeatedly requested the guards at Srijan Mahila Vikash Sahayog Samity to let her have her money, but finally returned back with empty hands.
Sunita is not a single depositor, it is stated that around 10 thousand persons particularly from the rural back ground have deposited their herd earn money with the so called Srijan Mahila bank. It is started that the so called Srijan Mahia bank used to collect daily deposits through their agents apart from opening saving accounts, current accounts and fixed deposit account unlike the nationalized and private banks having license from Reserve bank of India.
The investigating has so far super concentrated on the funds belonging to district administration misappropriated with the connivance of district administration, banks and so called Srijan bank. It is started that the scam of government funds may go beyond Rs 500 crores. Till now no action has been initiated to quantify the loss of thousands of depositors like Sunita Devi.
Meanwhile, J S Ganwar, IG, Economic offence Unit (EOT) today returned back to Patna after an another team of his subordinates arrived here for conducting the inquiry. However before returning back to Patna, the special investigating team (SIT) this morning arrested 7 persons including the steno of district magistrate, Bhagalpur and two bankers. Tempering of evidence , helping the culprits involved in the scam, direct involvement in the scam, managing the case as well as managing to safeguard the interests of the accused persons along with many offences defined in different section in Indian Panel Code (IPC) are also imposed on the arrested persons.
Interestingly enough, no apparent action or any discloser on the big fishes mainly the masterminds in the scam by official concerned here yet not initiated. “How such scam was possible without connivance of concerned district officials and the politicians (read the ministers)?” is the question flouting here on every lips.
“The scam was apparently started in 2003 but was reached to its climax during 2014-15. Major big govt.’s amounts were transfer to the NGO from 2014-2015 ; the transfer of such big amount of Rs 270 crore of district land acquisition was done in between July 16, 2014 to Januaray 5, 2015. Similarly, a cheque of Rs 12.20 crore was release for urban development scheme on September 27, 2014 which was transferred to the account of the said NGO on September 30, 2014. Another amount of Rs 15 crore of district Najarat was illegally withdrew by the NGO in between October 5 -8, 2009,” disclosed a source. “Was the concerned DMs at that time were unawared about such happenings taken place under their noises?” further added the sources.
Most interestingly, the said NGO even managed to take huge funds outside Bhagalpur, an amount of Rs 150 crore of district land acquisition office, Saharsa was transferred to this Srijan Mahila bank earlier also. “Which indicates this, was there no nexus of the well established racketeers with district magistrate or their subordinate staffs in district collectorate here?” is another question flouting here.
Observers here alleged the ongoing investigation just as an eyewash to safeguard the interests of top ranking officials and the politicians. “It’s a good indication that many of the businessmen and the real estate dealers in this city suddenly underground after some of them were wanted by the police,” said the source. The source also alleged that like in 2013 episode when the illegal activities of the said NGO was highlighted with ADM, Jayshree Thakur’s episode, there was another instance when one closed relative of Manorama Devi was killed under mysterious circumstances at Patna in 2003. The man had over more than Rs 1.5 crore deposited in his own personal account. “The incident was somehow suppressed with some influential persons here,” some recalled here.
A social activists recalled how the so called Srijan organization had complicated the socio-economy of the society of Bhagalpur. “Once a sales representative of a company at that time here, today becomes the owner of a big sophisticated business establishment in the heart in the city. He was promoted by a district magistrate and the said NGO, that year Bhagalpur witnessed the maximum sale of stitching machines in India. It was the initiative taken by the NGO to provide the stitching machines among the beneficiaries who were mostly poor. However, it is the matter of investigation that how many became the real beneficiaries of that scheme. But the sales representative had his steeping stone here along with a huge marginal profit to the said NGO, Srijan,” narrated the social activist.
Meanwhile, social activists and many intellectuals here expressed their concerned for the depositors, particularly for the poor and the beneficiaries of the SHGs and said the government should immediately take appropriate measures to recover their deposited amount with Srijan Mahila bank. “The investigating agencies along with other government machineries also should give priority for recovering the government money which has embezzled by the NGO,” many said here.