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Many fingers have started rising over CBI’s seriousness in investigating over more than 1600 crores Srijan scam as it failed to catch even a single ‘big fish’ in its net during last one year.
Srijan scam was officially unearthed here on August 7, 2017 after the than district magistrate, Bhagalpur, Adesh Titarmare sniffed the game of embezzlement of crores of government’s fund in February 2017. But when his sub ordinates failed to returned back one big amount, say some Rs 22 crore of district collectorate amount which earlier transferred to Srijan Mahila bank illegally, order for FIR was given. Most interestingly, the than Nazir of district collectortate, Amreandra Yadav who was complainant in the FIR later arrested by the CBI for his involvement in the scam!
Many here alleged CBI for only initiating its follow up action against the junior ranking staffs like Amrendra or others who were arrested earlier by the SIT, constituted here before CBI take over Srijan case in its hands. However, several bankers are also under CBI scanner and the investigating agency already filled charge sheet against the bankers along with others. But not a single IAS or any politician or others mainly high profile business men and some journalists whose involvements in the scam could not be ignored, enlisted in CBI’s list.
More interestingly, nobody including CBI could tell anything about Amit Kumar, son of Late Monorama Devi and his wife Priya Kumar. “Whether they are live or death, or absconded from the country or hide somewhere in the country, no one could hardly have any idea,” is the common perception among people here. Similarly, the former district land acquisition officer, Bhagalpur and a prime suspect in the case, Rajiv Ranjan Singh has been also absconding despite the fact that CBI has been searching him frantically.
CBI which already issued red corner look out notice against Amit and Priya, the ‘main conspirators’ of the scam and also charge sheeted them, remained tight lipped over whereabouts of the couple. However, sources claimed that Amit and Priya has the special privilege to enjoy high level approaches, manage to hide them. Senior state level RJD leader Sivanand Tiwary alleged CBI for protecting the big fishes in Srijan. “People have started alleging that Amit and Priya having their close relation with a top ranking CBI official, managing to evade their arresting. Not only that, high level politicians whose names were already highlighted in Srijan episode, also diverted the investigation by dint of their political clouts,” Tiwary alleged.
He too alleged that even after passing one year the bureaucrats involved in the scam apparently now in safe zone as department of personnel and training (DoPT) did not sanctioned prosecution against the IAS officers. Even the banks are adopting same stance and one nationalized bank already refused to take action against its officials involved in the scam with a plea of incomplete investigation by its part. He alleged CBI for suppressing the facts and diverting its investigation just to give relief to such ‘big fishes’.
CBI which has taken up the case in its hand on August 26, 2017, has taken up 16 FIRs which earlier instituted by the special investigating team (SIT). However 8 another FIRs were instituted which are related to the Srijan scam, mainly of withdrawing government money from the block offices of Bhagalpur. However, no actions was taken up on the FIRs.
So far as 18 people were early arrested by SIT and later CBI arrested one, Amrendra Yadav, nazir of district collectorate, Bhagalpur in the case. However 7 persons among the arrested persons, managed to obtain bails and one Mahesh Mandal, former nazir of district welfare department was died inside jail last year. The arrested persons are mostly bankers, administrative staffs and some from Srijan Mahila Sahoyog Samity Ltd.
CBI has also filled charg sheets against more than dozen persons like former managers of bank of Boroda, Navin Kumar Sha, Barun Kumar, Md. Sarafuddin, Sant Kumar Sinha, wife of arrested district welfare officer Indu Gupta, Amit and Priya Kumar, former district land acquisition officers Jayashree Thakur and Rajiv Ranjan Singh etc but yet not arrested anu of them.
SIT earlier exposed the big investments done by the politicians and others from Srijan’s money but CBI yet not arrested any of them. Besides, even after some IAS officers like former DM, Bhagalpur, K P Ramaiya’s roles of involvement in the scam is apprent, no arresting has been done so far. In the due course of investigation, CBI also found that important documents like the letter of former DM, Bhagalpur in which it was instructed to deposit government’s amount to Srijan Mahila bank, the letter of another DM, Bhagalpur in 2007 to close all the government accounts from Srijan Mahila bank and the handing over the TRYSEM building at the premises of Sabour block office to Srijan and depositing of MP-leads to Srijan instead of a nationalized bank etc are missing from district collectorate here.
“Late Monorama Devi and the names which appeared prominently in the scam were actually very low grade players in the game of Srijan, the identities of the masterminds and original conspirators are yet not been exposed. What CBI has done actually was over look their involvements and diverted its investigation towards ground level and concentrated only on lower grade accused persons in the scam,” alleged a top ranking cop who was earlier in the SIT here. Another retired IAS officer raised question on the function of district magistrates who posted Bhagalpur during the long period of Srijan scam. “A DM is supposed to be the custodian of the district treasury, any of them didn’t have any idea about such huge draining out of government money. What action so far CBI initiated against any of the DMs?” the former bureaucrat asked.
Similarly questions stated rising over the role of politicians along with state chief minister and state’s finance minister as no body pay concern to such huge financial irregularities at Bhagalpur. “No one bothered to point out how the local member of parliament (MP) started depositing his MP-LADS funds to Srijan Mahila bank instead of any nationalized banks?,” pointed out Bullo Mandal, RJD, MP from Bhagalpur seat.
RTGS of heavy amounts to many politicians, media persons and media houses and others from Srijan’s accounts were very common phenomena here. Srijan used to give full pages advertisements to local newspapers and payments were from RTGS modes. The CBI recovered several photographs which show some of the editors were frequent visitors to Srijan and Late Monorama Devi and his son Amit Kumar frequently entertained the media persons with valuable gifts. “Why CBI closed its eyes on such evidences? “ the common question started hunting here. Questions also raised on how some businessmen managed CBI despite the facts that there are solid evidences of their nexus with Srijan and also transaction of money from Srijan.
“Srijan also managed the audits even the office of auditor general (AG), Patna,” alleged some charted accounts here. According to them earlier the audits conducted by AG, Patna to the government departments here also failed to detect such massive irregularities. “How it could possible for any auditor when audits are done properly?, they pointed out. They said now AG, Patna has realized it and started searching for the letters like in which the TRYSEM building at Sabour was handed over to Srijan on 2003. “A two members team from AG, Patna office has started searching such letters. They initiated the work because the original letters could manage the previous ‘mistakes’ by the audits here the persons concerned of the audit teams could save their skins,” the CAs pointed out.