Mahesh Mandal, one of the accused in the Rs 700 crore Srijan scam, died in a Bhagalpur hospital on Monday. According to news agency ANI, Mandal was suffering from cancer and his kidneys were also damaged. He was working as a clerk at the government’s welfare department before he was arrested in the scam.
The Srijan scam involves a Bhagalpur-based NGO, Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti Limited, which used to provide vocational training to women. The NGO allegedly pilfered funds meant for government welfare schemes from the bank accounts of the Bhagalpur district administration.
Mandal had worked as a conduit between the bank, government and Srijan by providing original bank statements to Manorama Devi (Founder Secretary of Srijan). Mahesh’s son Shiv Mandal is Zila Parishad member and Bhagalpur district youth wing president of JD(U). The police had said that Mandal had admitted to receiving Rs 3 crore as commission from Srijan over the last 15 years.
Manorama Devi had also died in February this year.
Srijan has been siphoning money for the last 10 years during the JD(U)-NDA and RJD-JDU rule. A CBI probe has now been ordered by the Nitish Kumar-led government. The scam came to light after a cheque worth Rs 270 crore bounced on August 4. The money was meant to be paid to farmers in return for the land acquisition for building a power plant.