THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The city corporation has landed in soup after opposition councillors alleged that more officials are involved in the misappropriation of Scheduled Caste welfare fund. BJP councillors have decided to stage protests in the coming days in connection with the graft charges against 11 corporation officials who have already been booked by the Museum police. They also demanded to convene a special council meeting immediately to discuss the issue. Though a special council meeting is called for Tuesday to discuss the Zika virus spread issue, the BJP councillors are likely to disrupt the meet in the wake of the corruption scam.
Of the 11 officials booked the first accused and senior clerk U R Rahul was arrested and remanded in judicial custody. He was accused of swindling Rs 4 lakh between August last year and March, 2021. However, four others secured bail and the remaining are still at large.Following this, the BJP councillors said the scale of the scam is huge as chances are high for more officials to be involved in the graft.Councillor and party district president V V Rajesh said the officials had pilfered lakhs of rupees which is meant for the welfare of poor people belonging to the SC community. The political appointment of the SC Promoter in the corporation office itself is a corruption, he said.
“For the past few years, the SC Promoters are active CPM workers and the officials indulged in the scam with the promoter’s knowledge. Now, it has come to light that senior CPM leaders were also aware of the graft. Though the SC/ST Welfare Minister K Radhakrishnan assured a high-level probe, we demand swift action against all the erring officials. Now, 11 officials are booked. Of them, only one person was arrested. The other accused persons, including a woman, secured anticipatory bail. There is high political pressure to protect them,” Rajesh told TNIE.
The police said a probe is still on to find out if more persons are involved.“Though four persons secured bail, probe is under way to trace others involved. It was found the officials had siphoned off lakhs of rupees to their bank accounts,” said PS Dharmajith, Museum inspector.