HYDERABAD: Probing deeper into the recent Aadhaar-Aasara scam, investigators have found that a number of youngsters from Bandlaguda, aged between 20 and 30 years, were involved in the crime. They have been obtaining Rs 1,000 per month granted under the old-age pension scheme Aasara since it was launched by the government. Days after the Central Crime Station (CCS) police arrested three persons including the key accused — an MIM party leader and owner of an SBI kiosk Mohammed Abdul Khader Nakshbandi Aziz — investigation has revealed that they swindled up to Rs 50 lakh by misusing Aadhaar data of public to create fake accounts with fictitious names.
Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) officials have temporarily blocked about 500 Aadhaar cards belonging to residents of Bandlaguda. The accused seem to have used three different strategies, said deputy commissioner Avinash Mohanty. “Aziz along with his friends stole Aadhaar data from e-Seva centres and used the same to create fake accounts under fictitious names,” DCP said. “Then they applied for pension money granted to the elderly, widows and HIV positive persons.”
Investigators, who have collected the Aadhaar data and voter ID details of more than 500 people from the accused, have written to the UIDAI, revenue officials and bank managements seeking details of pension money swindled. “After collecting the data, UIDAI has blocked more than 500 Aadhaar cards. Revenue officials have also begun inquiries,” added Mohanty. “We contacted the tahasildar who sanctioned the pension money. He told us that he had hired performed his duties perfectly. However, he had hired 16 computer operators to outsource work based on the collector’s directions.”
Of the 16 outsourcing workers, police found at least three persons involved in the scam. This includes Md Aslam, who is currently working with TSSPCL as junior assitant in Nalgonda.Aslam is now absconding. “We have writted to revenue officials seeking information. Based on their report, we will take stern action,” said ACP N Sanjeev Rao.
Door-to-door verification to identify genuine beneficiaries
The Bandlaguda mandal has the highest number of pension beneficiaries in the city - 25,000. There are only about 3,000 to 4,000 beneficiaries in each of the other mandals of Hyderabad district. Collector Yogita Rana, who has taken the scam seriously, is likely to direct revenue officials to conduct a door-to-door verification to identify genuine beneficiaries in Bandlaguda mandal.