Vigilance searches PACS, initiates inquiry – The New Indian Express

By Express News Service

JAGATSINGHPUR: A Vigilance team, on Tuesday, conducted searches at Mallasahi Cooperative Society in Kujang block and verified the documents pertaining to crop insurance disbursal to 2020 flood affected farmers under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). The team seized nearly 10 files for inquiry.

The action came after Pravati Das, mother of social activist Adwait Das filed an FIR in Kujang police station against officials of Hansura and Badabalikani panchyats and Mallasahi primary agricultural cooperative society (PACS) alleging their involvement in threatening her family by sending local goons on Monday. Adwait has been vocal about irregularities and financial misappropriation ever since allegations surfaced.

He had apprised the Collector about an active racket preparing a fake beneficiaries list to swindle crop insurance. Ghost beneficiaries of Zillanasi, Tentulia Khamar, Jayasankhpur, Mallashai, Bagoi, Madhupur, Gaurpada were allegedly included under Hansura PACS for getting crop insurance, he had informed.

Those farmers of Mallashai panchayat do not have a single inch of land in Badabalikani and Hansura panchyats but have been shown as sharecroppers in these two panchayats and received insurance towards crop loss. Nearly Rs 44.64 lakh has been misappropriated by officials concerned by showing forged documents, he had alleged.

Collector Parul Patwari who had also received similar allegations from local farmers about the misappropriation ordered UCO bank, the lead bank, to conduct an inquiry on Tuesday. After insurance money to the tune of Rs 1 crore was deposited with Mallashai PACS, its officials and panchayat executive officers of Hansura and Badabalikani panchyats allegedly prepared a list of farmers who will be covered under crop insurance under PMFBY.

Due to inordinate delay in disbursement of the benefit, the then assistant registrar cooperative society (ARCC) directed manager, of Cuttack Central Cooperative Branch, (CCCB) Kujang branch to inquire and disburse the money to the affected farmers.

“After irregularities were detected, PEO of Hansura Panchayat Susant Kumar Parija was suspended while data entry operator of Mallashai panchayat Guru Charan Patnaik dismissed from service in August 2020. Now with the direction of ARCC, the bank has released the fund after obtaining the list of farmers from government and insurance companies,” manager of CCCB, Kujang branch Sujit Das said.

Crop insurance scam

In 2020 flood, farmers of Hansura and Badabalikani panchyats were insured and eligible to get claims under PMFBY.

Allegations surfaced against officials of Mallashai Cooperative Society and PEOs of Hansura and Badabalikani panchyats for preparing false beneficiaries list

Ghost beneficiaries of Zillanasi, Tentulia Khamar, Jayasankhpur, Mallashai, Bagoi, Madhupur, Gaurpada availed insurance benefit by forging documents

Hundreds of genuine farmers deprived of crop insurance

Vigilance seizes documents for investigation

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