October 21, 2020

CBI trying to shield Srijan scam accused: RJD vice president

Patna: Seeking a progress report from the CBI on the multi-crore Srijan fund transfer scam, RJD National Vice President Shivanand Tiwary today alleged that the central agency and the Bihar government are “trying to shield the accused” in the case.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has not been able to arrest any kingpin in the scam so far, he said.

“The agency should tell the people of Bihar about the progress in the case. It must name the persons questioned so far and explain the reason for not grilling any district magistrate in the case,” Tiwary told reporters here.

The RJD leader also said that two main accused in the case are “related to a top-ranking CBI official”.

“The CBI is attempting to cover up the case under the garb of investigation. The main accused of the case, Amit and Priya – son and daughter-in-law of Srijan’s founding member Manorama Devi – have been evading arrest for the past one year,” he said.

The scam came to light last year when a Bhagalpur district urban development authority (DUDA) cheque, issued by the district magistrate, bounced due to lack of funds.

An initial probe revealed that the Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti, a women’s cooperative society based at Sabour in Bhagalpur district, allegedly procured cheque books from banks and forged signature of the district magistrate to transfer government funds to its account.

The probe also pointed to the involvement of nationalised banks, government officials in the fraudulent withdrawal of funds to the tune of Rs 1000 crore in three districts of Bhagalpur, Banka and Saharsa.

The Nitish Kumar government handed over the probe to the premier investigating agency in August.

Unlike fodder scam cases, in which the CBI regularly briefed mediapersons with updates, the agency is tightlipped on this issue, the RJD leader said.

“When Patna High Court advocate Basant Kumar Choudhary wanted to know about the findings in the case, the CBI officials said that the questions should be sent to the Delhi (headquarters). The headquarters, too, refused to give any reply to the queries made under Right to Information Act,” the RJD vice president said.

The state government should not wash their hands off the case, he opined.

“The chief minister and deputy chief minister cannot escape from their responsibilities. They can’t walk away from it by simply saying that they had no knowledge about the scam,” he added.

Courtesy: Outlook India

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