An inquiry into the Banga wheat scam, previously pegged at misappropriation of 70,000 bags, has found that the scam is a lot bigger.
More than 2 lakh wheat bags are now found to be missing from an open PUNGRAIN godown at Jhikka road in Banga sub-division. With each bag carrying 50 kg wheat, more than 1 lakh quintal of food grain has this been stolen.
Departmental sources said that the loss to the government is Rs 20 crore. The food and supply department had suspended Yashpal Singh, an inspector with PUNGRAIN, with immediate effect, last week. Sources added that the siphoning off the bags began around three years ago and that five-six commission agents of the Banga sub-division, few transporters and other department employees formed part of the gang, along with the suspended inspector.
The department has now decided to register an FIR against the suspended inspector and also ask it to investigate the role of other suspects. Officials in the department are now claiming that some formers officials might have master-minded the scam.
During the first physical verification of the bags by district food and supply controller, Baljinder Singh Dhillon, it was found that nearly 70,000 wheat bags were missing.
When contacted, district food and supply controller Dhillon refused comment and asked the reporter to contact three-member inquiry committee head, deputy director KC Kajal, who did not respond to repeated calls from HT.
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