Friday, October 18, 2019

Posted at: May 15, 2019, 6:55 AM; last updated: May 15, 2019, 6:56 AM (IST)RS 3.5-CR SCHOLARSHIP SCAM

‘Satyagraha’ threat by IAS officer works, FIR lodged

Police hadn’t registered case for a month

Action so far

  • Sanjeev Verma, Director of the Department of Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, lodges complaint with Chandigarh Police on April 12 in connection with Rs 3.5 crore post-matric scholarship scam
  • Police delay FIR; IAS officer sends reminders on April 18 and 23, May 1 and 9, followed by a letter dated May 13, in which he threatens to sit on ‘satyagraha’ outside Chandigarh Police headquarters; police register case
‘Satyagraha’ threat by IAS officer works, FIR lodged
Sanjeev Verma

Bhartesh Singh Thakur

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14

After Haryana cadre IAS officer Sanjeev Verma threatened to sit on ‘satyagraha’ outside the Chandigarh Police headquarters for delay of over a month in registration of an FIR into Rs 3.5 crore post-matric scholarship scam in the state, the police registered a case within hours on Monday.

Verma, as Director of the Department of Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, lodged a complaint with the Chandigarh Police on April 12.

The Tribune broke the story ‘Rs 3.53-cr post-matric scholarship fraud in Haryana, 4 suspended’ on April 6. The embezzlement took place by changing the Aadhaar numbers of beneficiaries, resulting in payment to forged Aadhaar-linked accounts.

The scholarships are given to SC and BC students studying in educational institutes located within the state and outside. As the police were delaying the FIR, Verma sent the first reminder on April 18, second on April 23, third on May 1 and fourth on May 9.

In the fifth letter, dated May 13, he wrote, “I have not been informed why the FIR is being delayed. The victim students, who did not get scholarships due to this scam, are running from pillar to post. It is affecting their education. For injustice done to the poor students from the Scheduled Caste community, provisions under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, should be invoked.”

He claimed that the delay in the FIR despite sending reminders and making requests showed the insensitive attitude of the Chandigarh Police. “Now I do not have any other way left except sitting on ‘satyagraha’, as shown by Mahatma Gandhi,” he added, stating that he would start ‘satyagraha’ outside the Chandigarh Police headquarters on May 15.

“Within a few hours of sending the May 13 letter, I started getting calls and the FIR was registered,” he told The Tribune. The first payment involved Rs 1.71 crore for 170 students on February 13 and second Rs 1.81 crore for 182 students on February 19. The treasury passed a bill for Rs 3.53 crore on March 8.

The inquiry committee of the department had held that names of institutes and courses and students’ Aadhaar numbers were changed, while names of 170 students and their fathers remained the same. A large number of candidates were shown having the same numbers.

For instance, mobile number *****37396 had 44 names, *****42438 had 28 names and *****85237 had 24 names. In case of 182 students, for whom Rs 1.81 crore was sanctioned, it was found that Aadhaar numbers had been changed.

The police complaint was submitted against accountant Surender Kumar; District Welfare Officer in Sonepat Surender Kumar; Deputy Director (Training) RS Sangwan, who was re-employed; assistant Bilandar and Deputy Director, Planning and Drawing and Disbursing Officer, Anil Kumar.

Verma had requested investigation against three more officials. Vineet Kumar, SP (economic offences wing), denied any delay in the FIR. “There is no such case of delay in FIR. The case is under investigation,” he said.


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