Foresters Arrested For Corruption
As many as 7 foresters have been arrested for alleged misappropriation to the tune of Rs. 10 Crore. The arrested employees, Rajesh Chavaldhal, forester of Aambezari beat, Jeevan Meshram, forester of Dhubadi beat, Manik Mohite, (Tipeshwar), Saifal Naka forest guard Hiraman Mule, retired forest guard of Patan Bori Vishveshwar Junghare, Wani forester Gajanan Kudmethe and Amin Rajani, resident of Karimbad Society, Pandharkawda, worked under Pandharkawda forest division. The Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Yavatmal police has arrested all seven foresters following investigation into alleged misappropriation of Rs10.29 crore allotted under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) between December 2011 and March 2012.
According to SP M Rajkumar, a complaint was filed by deputy engineer of EGS Yavatmal revenue department Gulabrao Bhole on June 26, 2014. “Offences were registered under sections 409,468,471 and 34 of IPC and initial investigation was conducted by the Pandharkawda police. The revenue department had allotted the forest department works for digging mud trenches and constructing stone bunds in Zari Jamni tehsil. The works were to be carried out manually. However, the accused deployed JCBs and allegedly prepared bogus bills to show payments to daily wage workers. Bills were also submitted for works not done under the scheme.
The then district collector Shravan Hardikar had received several complaints regarding the works. He inspected the works and also held up the payment to petty contractors. An inquiry ordered by the collector revealed irregularities and violation of norms, following which a police complaint was filed. Hardikar and his successor Ashwin Mudgal ensured that fair investigations were conducted. They were supported by the then principal secretary (EGS) and district guardian secretary Vishwanath Giriraj.