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After arresting of Jayshree Thakur, the most tinted Bihar government’s official, track for arresting of others including IAS officials who managed to suppress her misdeeds, now has cleared.
Recent arresting of former land acquisition officer of Banka district, Jayshree Thakur, in connection with the multi-crore Srijan scam by CBI was not only a prime catch but also could expose the story of many top ranking bureaucrats who earlier managed to cover up her illegal acts.
The central investigating agency probing multi-crores Srijan scam for the first time trapped a former top ranking government official, Thakur. CBI has been chasing her with a non-bailable warrant of arrest since last year, finally nabbed from Patna and produced before the special CBI court, which sent her to the jail on 14-day judicial remand.
Earlier the state government had suspended Thakur after the Economic Offence Unit (EoU) raided five of her houses on July 12, 2013. She was dismissed from service in August 2017. “The files related to her dismissal from service remained under wraps for almost four years due to her links with some influential politicians of the state,” a high level source claimed.
That was not new, the source alleged while pointing the incident of July 2013 when the EoU had sniffed Thakur’s illegal deposit with that very NGO named Srijan Mahila Vikas Ewan Sahyog Samiti (SMVSS), which was founded by Manorama Devi in 1990s in in Bhagalpur.
A Bhagalpur based social activist-cum- expert in financial affairs, Sanjeet Kumar first raised the question of such huge deposit at SMVSS. Sanjeet who at that time raised question of parking of government money illegally to SMVSS, urged district magistrate, Bhagalpur to conduct a probe into the entire affair.
The than district magistrate had ordered for in inquiry and a three members team was constituted, but it was yet not cleared whether the report of the probe committee was handed over to the district magistrate or not. It was also not known that why the district magistrate failed to take any action at that time? The source alleged that the than district cooperative officer, Pankaj Jha was one of the member in that team constituted by the than district magistrate. Later, Pankaj Jha was arrested by SIT soon after expose of the Srijan scam for his involvement in the scam. Jha is present locked inside the jail along with other persons arrested in connection with Srijan scam.
“Had the Bhagalpur district administration on July 2013 taken proper action in the complaint made by Sanjeet Kumar, Srijan scam could have been exposed at that time. The official concerned too had evidences from EoU against Thakur and illegal deposit of money at the SMVSS,” the source alleged. “What the state government was doing at that time despite of the findings of EoU against Thakur and SMVSS?” the source pointed out the question.
The source further alleged that the concerned district officials at Bhagalpur were also deeply involved in the Srijan scam and hence they suppressed the fact.
Jayshree amassed disproportionate property worth Rs 13.98 crore by misusing her official position as land acquisition officer of Banka and Bhagalpur. She also played a major game of fraudulent while managing her family lands at Banka for acquisition for the government projects and collected heavy amounts as compensations.
Earlier according to the FIR, Rs 83.10 crore were fraudulently siphoned from bank accounts opened by Thakur. Different bank accounts were opened in Bhagalpur and money was parked in which from which they were fraudulently transferred to bank accounts of SMVSS. Thakur had opened the accounts outside the district without permission. Forged cheques used for transferring the money while district land acquisition office was provided different set of cheque books.
Thakur, her husband Rajesh Choudhary, son Rishikesh Choudhary and daughter Rajshree Choudhary have been charged with amassing property worth over Rs 13.98 crore disproportionate to their known sources of income.
The CBI has regsitered over 15 FIRs against government, bank and NGO officials in connection to the scam, involving Rs 1,900 crore so far, which had surfaced in Bhagalpur in August 2017 but spread to several other districts of Bihar as the probe progressed.
Srijan scam is related to fraudulent transfer of government fund kept in bank accounts of different departments to bank accounts of SMVSS, which was founded by Manorama Devi in 1990s in in Bhagalpur. Manorama died in February 2017 after which her daughter-in-law Priya Kumar took control of the helm of the NGO. Priya and her husband, Amit Kumar, prime accused in the scam, are yet to be arrested.