A Panchayat Secretary in Assam’s Cachar district was arrested just a day before retirement for allegedly embezzling government funds, reports emerged on Sunday.
According to the reports, the accused was taken into custody a day before his retirement on charges of corruption and embezzling government funds released for various developmental works by the Assam government’s Panchayat and Rural Development department and under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
The accused was identified as Ratish Dhar, the Panchayat Secretary of Boali Chengjur Gram Panchayat of the Binnakandi Development Block in the Cachar district of Assam.
As per information received, Ratish Dhar was taken in by the police from his residence in Udharbond. Lakhipur Police made the arrest based on a complaint filed by the CEO of Cachar Zila Parishad.
The complaint mentioned that the accused Ratish Dhar was involved in corruption in several developmental works and also prepared fake geotags in the name of beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana to embezzle massive amounts of government funds.
Following several complaints made by the people, a departmental investigation was conducted, the findings of which pointed towards clear embezzlement. Based on the findings, Cachar Zila Parishad Chief Executive Officer Ranjit Kumar Laskar had filed a complaint at the Lakhipur Police Station against Panchayat Secretary Ratish Dhar and two others namely, Gram Rojgar Sevak (GRS) Amritlal Gupta and GRS Kripa Sindhu Gupta on charges of misappropriation of government funds.
Based on the complaint, Ratish Dhar was arrested by the police last night. Meanwhile, the other two accused are still on the run. Notably, Ratish Dhar was supposed to retire from his position today (April 30), but was caught a day before his retirement.
Speaking about the matter, Cachar Zila Parishad CEO Ranjit Kumar Laskar said, “We had received allegations of corruption and misuse of government funds against our Gram Panchayat Secretary Ratish Dhar and GRS Amritlal Gupta and Kripa Sindhu Gupta and accordingly a magistrate enquiry was conducted.”
He said, “On the basis of the magistrate inquiry report, we filed an FIR. The accused GRS in question wrongly prepared geotags to embezzle large sums of government funds from PMAY scheme. Moreover, the GP Secretary has not properly utilized the schemes under 14th and 15th finance commission.”
“I cannot comment on the amount involved in the case, there are several schemes involved. We filed an FIR based on the findings of the magisterial inquiry on April 27, based on which GP Secretary Ratish Dhar was arrested,” added Laskar.