Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, August 7
Over 87,100 quintals of wheat, worth Rs 20 crore, have reportedly gone missing from eight godowns in Jandiala Guru block of Amritsar.
Besides, thousands of tonnes of wheat meant for distribution among poor in 15 villages there for the past year and a half, too, has allegedly not reached the intended beneficiaries and is believed to have been embezzled.
An FIR was registered against Jasdev Singh, an Inspector in the Food and Supply Department, late last night at Jandiala Guru. Now absconding, he is believed to have left the country last week. Jasdev was given the charge of eight godowns in Jandiala Guru, against the norm of an Inspector being in charge of one (and in rare cases two) godowns. He was also not posted out in the past four and a half years. “Surprisingly, his supervisors — the Assistant Food Supplies Officer, District Food Supplies Officer, District Food Supplies Controller and the Deputy Director (Jalandhar Division) — too did not conduct any physical verification of wheat stocks in the eight godowns under Jasdev’s supervision,” confirmed a senior officer. “The role of these officers, for their lack of supervision, will also be examined and action taken against them,” he added.
Jasdev’s role came under scanner when he exited the official WhatsApp group and suddenly disappeared on July 31, after a rake of wheat from a godown under his supervision was to be filled and sent to another beneficiary state.
“Immediately, teams of officials headed by the chief vigilance officer of the department were constituted and they decided to verify the stocks. It was found that 1,93,343 bags of wheat were missing. We have to inquire whether he sold the missing bags in the open market or he connived with certain commission agents and indulged in bogus billing of wheat (showing stocks were purchased on paper, when no stocks were physically purchased, and money to be given under MSP was siphoned),” a top official investigating the case told The Tribune. Residents of 15 villages in Jandiala Guru had repeatedly complained to Amritsar district officials, alleging that eligible beneficiaries had not received the free wheat under the National Food Security Act, which was also under Jasdev’s supervision.
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
No vendetta politics, says AAP
Goldy Brar is hiding in California, sought asylum in US to evade Indian authorities, reveals new dossier
According to the dossier, Brar arrived in Canada on August 1...
Nijjar, chief of the Khalistan Tiger Force, was shot dead by...
The celebrated agriculture icon was being treated for age-re...