With the arrest of a clerk and registration of case against the manager of the Mehraj branch of the Bathinda Central Cooperative Bank on Saturday, back-to-back incidents of embezzlement in cooperative institutions in the district have come to the fore in the past few months.
As many as five cases have been registered since January this year and Vigilance Bureau inquiry is on in alleged embezzlement of funds in the central cooperative bank and agricultural cooperative societies.
On Saturday, the police had arrested clerk Parvinderpal Singh and booked branch manager Shamsher Singh and three villagers Paragt Singh, Upinedrjit Singh and Indervir Singh for preparing fake loan limits and using cash for their personal use. The bureau officials, however, said the funds embezzled in this case have been deposited in the bank with interest.
Three cases of embezzlement worth crores of rupees have been registered in as many branches of the bank this year, while two cases of embezzlement in cooperative societies have been registered.
The bureau is inquiring into the functioning of two other cooperative societies.
In a case involving embezzlement worth `2.4 crore, the bureau had booked four clerkscum-data entry operators at the Sangat Mandi branch of the bank in January this year for cheating, forging of documents. A peon and three others were also booked in this connection. While two of the accused have been arrested, the rest are still absconding.
In another case, Manjinder, the manager of Mehma Sarja branch of the bank, was arrested for alleged embezzlement of `2 crore . The bureau had arrested the manager for cheating, forging the documents under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The misappropriation was done either by transferring the amount deposited by the cooperative societies their personal bank accounts or by fraudulently preparing the loan limits of farmers to benefit them.