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Experts concerned here expressed serious concerned over the attitude of district administration, Bhagalpur for its approach to banks to recover the government amounts which embezzled in Srijan scam. They blamed the administration for diverting the investigation which presently is done by CBI.
District welfare officer, Bhagalpur has geared up for the recovery of government’s amount over more than Rs 241 crores which earlier withdrawn fraudulently in Srijan scam. However experts concerned raised objection on such move by the district administration and termed it as ‘interference’ to dilute the investigation which already started by CBI.
The office has claimed the amount from the banks and a letter in this direction was sent to regional director, Reserve bank of India, Patna. The letter alleged that from the financial year 2007-08 to August 2017 embezzlement of Rs 241 core 29 lakh, 47 thousand and 749 was done by three banks having its branches at Bhagalpur. It further stated that the government amount was for different welfare schemes like scholarship etc for the students from schedule tribe, schedule caste , Maha Dalits and backward communities. It also mentioned due to embezzlements, all such welfare schemes for the poor students became defunct. Besides, it also casted clouds over other welfare projects.
The assessment of the amount of the embezzlement was done by the audit team of auditor general (AG) recently after the team conducted the audit of the office along with other government wings here. The letter urged Reserve bank of Indian to ensure the return of the money from the banks with interests. It pointed out Rs 214 crore, 5 lakh 79 thousand 437 was embezzled from the main branch of bank of Boroda, Bhagalpur, Rs 17 crore 71 lakh 33 thousand 312 from main branch of bank of India and Rs 9 crore 52 lakh 35 thousand was withdrawn fraudulently in Srijan scam. The loss of interests of the said amounts are claimed to be more than crores.
Earlier district welfare officer, Sunil Kumar in letters to the managers of the 3 banks on December 30, 2017 urged to settle the matter for returning back the amount. A bank official on condition of anonymity raised objection for such letter to Reserve bank of India by Bhagalpur district administration. “How they assume that the banks are responsible for the embezzlements and the officers concerned like the district magistrate, Bhagalpur was innocent? It’s just to divert the investigation,” he alleged while adding that the banks would protest such illegal acts.
Echoing the bank officer, experts in economic affairs also raised doubt over the act of district administration here. “When the CBI is already conducting the investigation, what is the need of such letter for recovery of lost amounts from the banks? Secondly how district administration so easily fixed banks as the culprits in the entire episode? It’s an approach to divert CBI and also to save the erring concerned district officials,” they pointed out.