‘Block-level officials’ apparently involved in scam, police register case
Shopian: A scam has surfaced in far-off Hirpora village in south Kashmir’s Shopian district where minor children have been registered as labourers to siphon off funds under the MNREGA employment scheme. Several parents of such children on Tuesday held a protest in the village to demand action against officials involved in the scam.
The scam came to fore after some children were denied free admission in coaching centres under the government’s quota for reserved category students.
“The education officials told us that they cannot provide free coaching to our children as they are registered as labourers with government-issued job cards,” said one of the parents.
Locals said that the job cards have been issued for about 40 students from the village, among them children studying in Classes 2nd and 3rd.
“Children studying in Class 2 have been registered as 42 years old by the village level worker (VLW) and other block level officials,” said another parent, demanding a probe and swift action against the government officials involved.
A minor student said that he was not receiving government scholarship for some years and he was not aware that it was so because a job card had been issued in his name.
“I went to the coaching centre (to get admission under reservation quota) but they told me that I cannot get benefits of this scheme as I was an MNREGA job card holder,” he said, adding that the local VLW some time ago told his family that Rs 13,500 had mistakenly been deposited into his account, which his parents returned to him.
Locals who held the protest in the village demanded strict action against officials involved in the crime. “We went to the Superintendent of Police and a case has been registered by the SHO Hirpora in this regard. We are thankful to the police,” said a protesting parent whose 12-year-old son has been shown as 42 years old in the job card issued against his name. The child’s Aadhar number has also been linked to his MNREGA job card.
A senior police officer told Kashmir Reader that a case under relevant sections has been lodged at police station Hirpora and investigation has been initiated. “So far, we found that job cards have been issued even in the name of Class 2 and 3 students by the block development authorities. These students were facing problems in scholarship and in availing other government schemes. Parents wrote to us and we, after registration of the case, have started investigation. We have also written to the block development authorities in this regard,” the officer said, adding that so far no arrests have been made.