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By Our economic editor /
Public outcry against a Bhagalpur based NGO, Srijan Mahila Viksah Sahyog Samity Ltd for its suspicious activities which however being suppressed earlier on behest of some influential politicians and bearcats however ultimately has caused loss of government exchequer. And for that sensational revelation of utilizing government’s money, Bhagalpur district administration finally registered a FIR with local police station against the NGO.
It is alleged that Rs 10.26 crore has been illegally transferred in the account of the NGO with the connivance of Indian bank where the said amount of Bhagalpur district administration was parked.
According to senior superintendent of police, Bhagalpur, Manoj Kumar, a FIR has been instituted against the said NGO and banker. He said that district magistrate, Bhagalpur, Adesh Titarmare also gave his consent for taking appropriate legal action against such fraud. “ Under the leadership of Dy. superintendent of police (DSP-town) a special investigation team (SIT) has been constituted consisting with 5 members team. The team has already started raids to the offices of the NGO besides orders have been given to seal all the bank account of the said NGO.
While misinterpreting government may have envisaged a bank exclusively for women, Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahayog Samiti Ltd, somehow managed to set a co-operative bank for women in1996. It was established by Srijan Co-operative Society and again misinterpreted that it was recognised by Central Co-operative Bank, Bhagalpur.
Founder of the bank, Manorama Devi, known popularly as Didi (elder sister), lost her husband in 1991.
In 1994, Manorama got together a few other women like her and started a self-help group from a single room at Sabour. Surprisingly the one room office of the NGO shifted to the block office primness of Sabour under Bhagalpur district.
It was stated that such an enterprise is not unique to Bhagalpur though. In Ahmedabad, Shri Mahila SEWA Sahakari Bank Ltd, has been helping out women entrepreneurs since 1974. According to high level sources from state headquarter, it was operating as an illegal bank used to take deposit and givess advances/loan to the people.
The Srijan Mahila bank was started with Rs 10,000 and 100 account holders. Now, it has a capital of more than Rs 8 crore and 5,000 account holders. It was stated that it is also seeking a licence from Reserve Bank of India. But after the death of Manorama Devi few month back, it is learnt that internal mismanagement and fighting among the stakeholders (once the close associates of Late Manorama Devi) mishandled the money. Well established sources claimed huge deposit of public was used to finance business houses and real estate dealers of Bhagalpur and its adjourning areas.
In 2013, the name of Srijan Mahila was in news headlines in the sensational discloser by the economic offence unit (EOU), Bihar government that the huge amount in crores of Jayashree Thakur, a ADM rank officer of government of Bihar was parked with the so called Srijan Mahila bank. The nexus with the nationalized bank was disclosed at that time also, a single cheque amounting to Rs 7.32 crore in the name of third party was credited in the bank account of Srijan Mahila cooperative society, as stated by the EOU, assigned for conducting the investigation against the government official.
At that time, Sanjit Kumar an activist working against non-banking money-lending companies, alleged that the government machinery had failed to curb illegal financial activities. After the infamous deposit collection controversy involving the Saradha Group of Bengal, chief minister Nitish Kumar had indicated his government’s intention to go after such money lending firms in the state but the government’s approach creates doubts about how determined they are, Kumar stated.
He pointed out that many complaints had been registered against such money-lending firms before the Bhagalpur district administration and the state government for instant action, but no concrete step had been taken yet.
It is worth mentioning that at that time Sanjit Kumar made a complain against Srijan Mahila before the ministry of finance, Reserve Bank of India, government of Bihar and district administration Bhagalpur. Upon complain RBI issued direction to the Registrar of cooperative, government of Bihar to investigate the matter for proper action. An ADM rank officer working in Bhagalpur District was directed to conduct the enquiry against Srijan Mahila.
It is strange that even after complaint and enquiry how district administration failed to keep vigilance on their funds, which caused loss of huge public money in the hands of so called bank, Srijan Mahila?
Connivance of bankers, district administration Bhagalpur and district cooperative bank cannot be ruled out in misappropriating the public money. It is pertinent to note that the said bank of Srijan Mahila was operating in the building and premises of Sabour Block under Bhagalpur District.