The CBI has filed four fresh FIRs naming 24 government officials, including a former additional district magistrate, in the Rs 1,700 crore Bhagalpur Srijan scam.
Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti Limited, a Bhagalpur NGO allegedly siphoned off an estimated Rs 1,200 crore of public funds over 13 years since 2004. After nine FIRs and 12 arrests, the Bihar government had ordered a CBI probe last August.
An investigation by The Indian Express of police records, bank statements and interviews with key officials had revealed how the little-known NGO, providing vocational training to women and selling pickles, allegedly pilfered funds from Bhagalpur district administration’s various accounts for at least half-a-dozen welfare schemes, all with the alleged connivance of government officials, bank employees and Srijan’s own staff.
The CBI, which has lodged 10 FIRs, on Tuesday lodged four FIRs against staffers of Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti Limited, officials of Bank of Baroda and Indian Bank and others for alleged embezzlement of Rs 271 crore government funds. Among those named are the NGO president Shubhlaxmi Prasad and secretary Rajni Priya (daughter-in-law of the late Manorama Devi, founder of Srijan), then land acquisition officer of Banka Jayshree Thakur (who later became ADM).
The first of four new FIRs is lodged against Jayshree Thakur and managers of Bank of Baroda and Indian Bank. The second one is against Srijan’s president, secretary and eight other employees of the NGO. The third FIR is against former and current branch managers of Ghantaghar, Bhagalpur branch of Bank of Baroda and Patal Babu Road branch of Indian Bank and the fourth case is lodged against senior manager, cashier-cum-accountant of Bank of Baroda, manager, cashier and accountant of Srijan and a district welfare officer.