Praful Chander Nagpal
Fazilka, November 18
With an alleged fraud coming to light of claiming compensation worth crores of rupees in lieu of not burning stubble by making fake entries, the authorities today sent two computer terminals to the forensic science laboratory in Chandigarh for examination.
The computers were seized from two private photostat shops at Jalalabad town on November 15 after a case was registered under Sections 420 (fraud), IPC, and 66 (computer-related offences), IT Act.
SDM Keshav Goyal said the amount of fraud would be ascertained once the entries were verified by the government. Certain individuals got hold of the ID and password of the government website allegedly in connivance with officials and started making fake entries by showing beneficiaries as farmers who had not burnt stubble.
The entries were made under the Punjab Government scheme for providing financial assistance of Rs 2,500 per acre to those farmers who do not burn stubble and manage it on their own.
The compensation amount was transferred by the government to the accounts of “fake applicants” within hours of filling of forms. As the word spread, a large number of people rushed to the two shops — Kachura Photostat and Bajaj Photostat, where the forms were allegedly being uploaded.
On getting information, the police confiscated the computers and arrested the owners.
City Police SHO Lekh Raj Batti said hundreds of fake entries were allegedly made. Fazilka DC Manpreet Singh Chhatwal said those involved in the scam would not be spared.
Officials issuing approvals warned
Muktsar: Deputy Commissioner MK Aravind Kumar has warned officials engaged in the exercise of compensating farmers to work diligently or face criminal action. “If any ineligible farmer gets the relief money, a criminal case will be registered against officers who recommend/approve such name. All farmers fulfilling the criteria may submit their self-declaration forms to village panchayats,” he said.
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