BHAWANIPATNA: Exposing a major fraud, Thuamul Rampur Police has arrested a local contractor, his nephew and a contractual staff of Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) on charges of siphoning off wages worth Rs 3 lakh of 70 workers engaged in MGNREGS road construction work last year. The trio identified as Kishor Naik (30), his nephew Sajan Naik (23) and IOB business correspondent (contractual) Subrat Panda (34) was arrested on Tuesday.
The matter came to light after a Gram Sathi of Bandabag village Surendra H Naik filed a police complaint on April 24. Police said last year, 70 labourers were engaged in construction of a road under MGNREGS in Bandabag village under Thuamul Rampur block. All belonged to the same village. When none of the workers received their due wages for a long time after work completion, they approached Gram Sathi Naik who reached out to the police.
In the investigation that followed, it was found that Kishor with help of his wife Anusuya Suna - an Anganwadi worker in Bandabag - managed to lay hands on the Aadhaar cards and photographs of the workers on the pretext of submitting the documents for Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) work. The beneficiaries complied and gave the documents in good faith as Anusuya was known in the village. Kishor then, with help of nephew Sajan, got in touch with Subrat, a contractual business correspondent of IOB at Mukhiguda in Jaipatna block.
The trio then opened bank accounts in the name of the workers by giving their documents and linked those with MGNREGS. They also availed ATM cards and withdrew Rs 3 lakh from the accounts. When the workers did not get wages for almost a year, they suspected foul play and informed the Gram Sathi. Thuamul Rampur IIC Manoranjan Kumbhar said the three accused have been forwarded to court and the role of the Anganwadi worker is being probed.