BJD leader and block chairman held on charges of forgery
In Makaraguda village alone, the fraudulent activities amounted to a staggering Rs 25 lakhs.
BHAWANIPATNA: In a startling development, block chairman of Golamunda block and a prominent Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Bindu Mahanand has been apprehended along with his associate, Balakrishna Patel in connection with the alleged conspiracy to forge land records and bank accounts of farmers to fraudulently obtain funds under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) totalling more than Rs 25 lakhs.
The arrests were made by the Kegaon police station, and both were subsequently presented before the court. Mahanand held several influential positions, including being the president of the District-level Block Chairman Association and a notable RTI activist.
Addressing a press conference, SDPO Dharamgarh, Dhiraj Chopdar, said the case originated from a report submitted by Khetramohan Bag of Makarguda police station in Kegaon. Subsequent investigations unveiled a complex scheme orchestrated by Bindu Mahanand and Balakrushna Patel to defraud the PMFBY scheme.
Their modus operandi involved offering villagers money in exchange for their bank account details, passbooks, debit cards, and Aadhaar cards. The duo would then access the ROR records and land documents of random farmers through mobile applications and the Bhulekh system. By linking the account numbers and Aadhaar details of fake beneficiaries to the obtained land records, they would proceed to file fraudulent PMFBY crop insurance claims, the officer added.
Upon approval of the claims, the funds were withdrawn from the accounts of villagers through the use of their own bank accounts.A portion of the money was shared with these villagers for allowing the use of their bank accounts and identities in this scheme. However, a majority of the funds were misappropriated through the use of forged land documents and fraudulent claims, the SDPO informed.
In Makaraguda village alone, the fraudulent activities amounted to a staggering Rs 25 lakhs. This scheme resulted in financial benefits being wrongfully directed to individuals who did not own land, while genuine landowners were denied the benefits they were entitled to under the PMFBY scheme.
Further investigation is on, the officer added.