Key accused in Bihar Rs 1500 crore Srijan scam dies

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Mahesh Mandal, one of the arrested accused in Bihar’s Rs 1500 crore Srijan scam, has died in a mysterious condition in Bhagalpur hospital.

The officials have been quoted as saying that Mandal was suffering from cancer and had his kidney damaged. But his sudden death will no doubt raise suspicion on the timing.

In Madhya Pradesh more than 55 people have died ever since Vyapam scam surfaced couple of years ago.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday had recommended a CBI probe into what’s now being termed as Rs 1500 crore Srijan scam. Bhagalpur-based Srijan has been accused of swindling more than Rs 1500 crore in collusion with top government officials including the state’s deputy chief minister, Sushil Kumar Modi.

Kumar’s decision came after a high-level meeting on the the case in which government money was allegedly siphoned off by the and some public sector banks with government officials also being named suspects.

What’s Srijan scam?

The NGO would accept government’s financial assistance in the guise of creating jobs for local women by engaging them in Sari making handloom. But, fresh evidence reveals that the handloom only existed on paper and the NGO essentially imported Saris from other parts of India and repackaged them at their centre in Bhagalpur.

On August 9 this year, the embarrassed Bihar chief minister was forced to dispatch a special investigation team (SIT) to Bhagalpur to investigate the scam as the opposition parties led by the RJD chief, Lalu Yadav, mounted pressure.

The SIT, headed by Gangwar, detected gross irregularities in the transfer of government funds to the account of the NGO. At least eight district magistrates (DMs), who have served in Bhagalpur since 2007, were on the radar of the SIT, reported The Telegraph.

The present Bhagalpur district magistrate, Adesh Titarmare’s, role is also being examined after two arrested public servants claimed that accounts of the district administration with the Bank of Baroda were opened in 2016 on the the DM.

The SIT also detected that crores of government money were transferred from the bank accounts of different departments, including Mukhyamantri Shahari Vikas Yojna in Bhagalpur district, with the help of NGO Srijan Sahayog Mahila Vikas Samiti.

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