A senior woman functionary of the ruling Biju Janata Dal,who was once elected as an MLA on the basis of fake tribal certificate,was arrested on Saturday on charges of faking her Scheduled Tribe certificate.
Pramila Giri,the 55-year-old chief of BJDs women unit in tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj district,was arrested after a state-level scrutiny committee found that she had forged the certificate.
She was charged under sections 467 (forgery),468 (forgery for purpose of cheating),471 (using as genuine a forged document or election record) and 420 (Cheating) of the Indian Penal Code,said police officials in Badasahi police station of Mayurbhanj.
Giri had contested and won the 2004 Assembly elections from Baisinga constituency in Mayurbhanj,claiming to be a Bathudi tribal. She stayed the MLA for the full five-year term. Though she was elected on a BJP ticket,in 2009 she switched over to BJD after the two allies parted ways ahead of the elections.
Mayurbhanj district social welfare officer Rajib Sahoo said after the election,several villagers had lodged complaints against Giri,alleging that she belonged to Gopala caste,a social and educationally backward caste. Congress leader Prabodh Kumar Panda,the president of Betanati block,too had challenged her caste status in 2008. All along Pramila Giri maintained that she had become a tribal after marriage as her husband was a tribal.
The case was later shifted to the court of Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC),Central division,which in its order on Friday said that Giri belonged to Gopala caste and was not a tribal though she was married to a tribal.
A person is tribal by birth and not by marriage, the RDC court said.