Deputy commissioner Abhinav Trikha has asked the district police to register a criminal case against Sahari village sarpanch Varinder Singh for allegedly misappropriating a government grant to the tune of Rs. 35.1 lakh released under the Indira Aawas Yojana for building 78 houses for the poor in the village.
Varinder Singh, a protégé of a powerful ruling party leader of the area, had got the amount directly deposited in his account in violation of rules. The embezzlement had surfaced during a meeting of the district monitoring and vigilance committee on central works in Gurdaspur in October.
Committee chairman and MP Partap Singh Bajwa of the Congress and Dera Baba Nanak MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa had raised the issue, following which DC Abhinav Trikha had ordered additional deputy commissioner (development) Rakesh Kumar to inquire into the matter. The inquiry report confirmed the embezzlement.
The sarpanch had given a grant of Rs. 90,000 to one of his uncles living in the village for building a house for him, but his uncle already had a palatial house in the village. The inquiry report revealed that no benefits were extended to the poor beneficiaries of the village.
Senior superintendent of police Rajjit Singh has sought the legal opinion of the district attorney on registering a criminal case against the sarpanch.