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Bibi Sahina, Bibi Nasrin and Bibi Noor, all natives of Chouka Fathepur, outskirt of Bhagalpur city don’t know how CBI could help them ?
When people have quite hopeful that CBI which already arrival here for investigating the Srijan scam, would manage to punish the real culprits, these women are confused lots. The rural homemakers who also were the members of Purnima SHG patronage by Srijan Mahila Vikash Sahayog Samity now started realizing that it would immense difficult for them to get back their money once deposited with Srijan NGO.
“I used to manage Rs 10 daily despite the fact that it was indeed a big amount in my family. But today when I badly need the amount for urgent work, nobody is here (at Srijan) to return our money,” Bibi Sahina told in a broken voice today at her house in Fathepur. Like her many narrated their plights and miseries : some needs the money for treatment, some for daughters marriage and some have many vailed reasons. Today when they need the money, there is not a single who could assure them for it.
SIT which earlier conducted investigation into the scam case, narrated the CBI team about its findings on how Srijan NGO made more than 7200 rural women fools. As per the records available during the raids by the SIT, Srijan NGO started operating over 600 SHGs having 12 members from very beginning in 1996-97. It also managed to start operating the bank accounts of the SHG members from Srijan Mahila bank.
“Under government’s norms, each members of a SHG could enjoy the initial loan of Rs 25 thousand each, ie Rs 2.5 lakh for a SHG. Government uses to provide Rs 1.25 Lakh as subsidiary but Srijan NGO directly grabbed the amount. On the other hands, Srijan NGO used to provide loan out of the remaining amount of Rs 1.25 Lakh to any SHG members on the interests of 1.8 percent per year. Hence the embezzlement of crores of rupees from this scheme, is also reported at Srijan NGO apart from other irregularities,” the SIT underlined the game played by the NGO.
The day after SIT locked the main office of the Srijan NGO, people mostly rural women started visiting Sabour block office premises where the main office of Srijan operated reguralry, in an anticipations that they would able to narrate their problems before any concerned person and their money would be returned . District magistrate, Bhagalpur Adesh Titarmare earlier was very much confirmed that the money of the SHG members blocked with the Srijan NGO would be returned. “We will managed to recover all the government money from the banks as they are responsible in this entire game,” he told The Telegraph last week.
Now Titarmare was not available to comment, but financial law experts like Anand Mohon Jha, a lawyer here said it was not so easy to returning back public money in such situations . “There are several instances like the Sarda chit fund or other chit funds scams in the country and how many depositors yet get back their money ?” he pointed out.
According to him since such fake financial institutions work illegally, so no one could fix responsibility on the government for recovering the amounts of the innocent depositors with it. “However since the Srijan NGO was registered with Bihar state cooperative society, any member of the SHG operated under the NGO could claim for recovery of the money before the government of Bihar. But the process would be a time taking affair,” he pointed out. Jha said that recovery of other women’s amounts in the NGO’s bank would be very difficult since there is no as such probation of law in this case.
The financial law experts however alleged the basic lapses by part of district administration and department concerned at 2013 when Economic Offence Unit (EOU), Bihar nabbed the Jaye Shree Thakur episode here. That time it was came to light that Srijan NGO also involved in banking activities as it collected huge amount of Rs 7.36 crore from Jaye Shree Thakur. “The case immediately should have referred to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) by EOU at that time as it was a classic case of money laundering. But unfortunately, no proper step was taken at that time which resultant the outburst of such hue scam of more than Rs 1200 crores today,” they pointed out. The experts expressed their concerned of repeating of same mistake by the SIT while handling the case recently. “Even after clear indication of majority of the transactions done by Srijan were falling in the preview of moneylending act, the probe team remained silent on it,” they alleged. However, they hoped that since CBI has taken the case this time, ED would automatically involve in it for solving the moneylending case committed by the persons involved in it.
“But it is not the solution, all responsible officials including the EOU which conducted raids on 2013 during Jaye Shree Thakur episode should be held responsible for such mistake. It was their fault which encourage Srijan NGO to flourish further such illegal activities. The quantum of draining out government money could be checked on 2013 if the department concerned pay heed to it,” observers pointed out.