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CB probes fraud of Rs 1,34,21,168 in merit-cum-means scholarship

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Srinagar, Feb 11: Crime Branch Kashmir has initiated an enquiry into a huge fraud with regard to merit-cum–means scholarship and involving a whopping amount of Rs 1,34,21,168.

According to a Crime Branch press release here, the enquiry conducted has prima facie revealed that out of 474 beneficiaries of the merit-cum-means scholarship scheme, 463 were fake and an amount of Rs 1,34,21,168 had been credited into the “fake beneficiary” accounts of West Bengal with 317 fake beneficiary accounts in the State Bank of India, 69 fake beneficiary accounts in the Bank of Baroda, 69 fake beneficiary accounts in the United Bank of India, five in the Allahabad Bank, two of Bangiya Grameen Vikas Bank and one in Central Bank of India, as against 463 bank accounts of J&K mentioned in the application form of candidates who were shown to be residents of Qazigund Kulgam.

It said during enquiry it surfaced that the applications have been uploaded on the NSP through two electronic devices in the name of Shubankar Sarkar S and Salim Sheikh, residents of West Bengal, who seemingly had the access to the u and password for uploading the applications and thereby furnished the institutional verification.

The verification furnished by District Nodal officer Kulgam, the bank revalidation through CBS, by PMFS followed by digital signatures by Ministry Nodal officer and State Nodal officer has been instrumental in processing and release of payment to the 463 fake beneficiaries, the press release said.

The omission and commission on part of the concerned officers, Shubankar Sarkar of West Bengal and Salim Sheikh, also a resident of West Bengal, and others acting in deceitful and fraudulent manner by way of impersonation have caused wrongful loss to the exchequer and wrongful gain to beneficiaries, Crime Branch said, adding they have prima-facie committed offences punishable under sections 420,468,120-B IPC r/w 66(D) I.T Act, 5 (2) PC ACT.

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