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इंडियन आवाज़     21 May 2024 03:58:09      انڈین آواز

Lalu Blames ‘Nitish, Sushil for Multi Crore Srijan Scam in Bihar

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SIRJAN SCAM HT - Copy

AMN / PATNA

RJD leader Lalu Prasad has alleged that Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Modi are the masterminds of a Srijan scam of nearly Rs 1000 crore recently unearthed in Bhagalpur and demanded a CBI probe into whole affairs.

“Once Nitish and Sushil Modi realised that their joint venture scam would be exposed, they decided to withdraw from the mahagathbandhan in Bihar to join the NDA and form the government to seek protection against any inquiry,” the RJD chief claimed.

Lalu also alleged that Sabour-based NGO Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti Ltd, in whose account illegal withdrawals from a government treasury were deposited, was patronised by both Nitish and Sushil Modi.

The NGO’s operation floundered after its founder Manorama Devi passed away in February. Her son Amit Kumar and daughter-in-law Priya Kumar have already been arrested. The Bhagalpur senior superintendent of police has written to the regional passport officer, Patna, to confiscate their passports.

Bhagalpur Srijan scam : Retired bank manager arrested

According to a report in the Hindustan Times the NGO, Srijan Mahila Sahyog Samiti working in connivance with bank and treasury officials, used to divert government funds into its accounts by writing its account number on the reverse side of government cheques.

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ABC OF  SCAM 

NGO Srijan swindled government funds from 2007-14 without getting noticed.

Bhagalpur district administration believed forged bank e-statements.

Bank e-statements, which govt offices relied on, did not bear any signature.

Nine FIRs lodged so far; NGO operation also found in Kosi division.

Investigators have traced eight bank accounts of Srijan, suspect over 24.

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LALU TEJASVI

Investigators probing the multi-crore scam, involving transfer of government funds to an NGO in  have unraveled its modus operandi.

Working in cahoots with bankers and treasury officials, the NGO concerned — the Srijan Mahila Sahyog Samiti — used to surreptitiously divert government funds into its accounts by writing its account number on the reverse side of cheques, issued by district treasuries to different government departments.

To escape getting noticed, it developed a system to generate doctored e-statement of the bank. These statements, mentioning the correct account balance and interest accrued on it, were regularly sent to government offices for record keeping. However, the same did not reflect in actual bank records, as the NGO could not tamper the banking software.

Interestingly, the NGO also fudged bank passbooks and escaped government audit between 2007 and 2014.

the paper said that the modus operandi of the NGO was to fraudulently divert government funds into its account and earn interest on the principal amount, while leaving it intact.

Inspector-general of police (IG), economic offence unit (EOU), Jitendra Singh Gangwar, heading the probe, told the Hindustan Times, “We have seized the laptop using the fake banking software, printer, pen drives and purported copies of bank e-statements. Nine people have been arrested.”

scam could go past Rs 700 crore, as the investigating agencies were trying to trace the NGO’s activities beyond Bhagalpur, as it also operated through self-help groups (SHGs).

“The NGO also offered loans to villagers at exorbitant rate of interest. This ensured good returns though it also had an element of risk in terms of bad debt,” said Gangwar. The scam continued for seven years between 2007 and 2014. Nine FIRs have so far been registered on the basis of statements by different departments, he added.

Srijan also operated in the Kosi region. “We have so far discovered eight accounts with the Bank of Baroda and the Indian Bank. We suspect there are over 24 accounts of the NGO and trying to ascertain them,” Gangwar said.

“We detected that in 2012-13, the NGO withdrew Rs 150 crore from its Bhagalpur account and transferred it to its Saharsa account two years later. As of now, we do not know why the money was transferred,” he added.

Bihar funds transfer scam exceeds Rs 355 cr; chief secretary says it may get much bigger

Officials believe that the ambit of the probe could go beyond Bhagalpur. They have reasons to believe that such an operation, in the name of SHGs, could be prevalent elsewhere too.

Lalu Prasad threatened that his Rashtriya Janata Dal will not allow functioning of the monsoon session of the Bihar Assembly beginning in the third week of August if Modi is not sacked.

Lalu Prasad said Modi is not the only senior BJP leader involved in this scam, which he said was “bigger than the fodder scam” that surfaced in the mid 90s. “Modi and other BJP leaders, including BJP MP Ashwani Kumar Choubey, Manoj Tiwari and former Union Minister Shahnawaz Hussain, are involved in the scam.

“This scam happened in the full knowledge of Modi, who was Bihar Finance Minister from 2005 till 2013 June. As a Finance Minister Modi is responsible for the scam,” Lalu Prasad said.

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