Nearly 70,000 wheat bags are missing from an open PUNGRAIN godown at Jhikka road in Banga sub-division. Each bag contained around 50 kg wheat.
Considering the large number of bags, sources said the siphoning off the bags would have begun six-seven months ago. How did this escape the attention of officials is something that will haunt them.
The misappropriation was detected during physical verification of the stock by the district food and supply controller, Baljinder Singh Dhillon.
There is a possibility that the number of bags missing could be as high as 80,000.
Reacting to the information, the food and supply department has suspended Yashpal Singh, an inspector with PUNGRAIN, with immediate effect.
A fact-finding committee has also been formed to look into the incident. Food and supply department (Ropar) deputy director KC Kajal has been appointed as the inquiry officer.
An HT team reached the godown on Saturday morning and found that employees were calculating the number of wheat bags.
Talking to HT Dhillon said, "I have given a preliminary report to department. The department is conducting an inquiry."
When questioned, inquiry officer Kajal said that the truth and the exact modus operandi of the scam would come out soon.
He denied comment on whether other employees could be involved. Deputy commissioner Tanu M Kashyap said, "Dhillon has informed her about the situation. Banga Market committee secretary Mohinder Pal Sharma and Banga naib tehsildar JP Salwan have been deputed to assist the district food and supply department."