Chandigarh: 10 govt school principals to join probe in fake contractor scam - Hindustan Times
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Chandigarh: 10 govt school principals to join probe in fake contractor scam

ByNaina Mishra, Chandigarh
Jun 09, 2024 07:50 AM IST

The investigation will uncover the role of the principals, if any, and how the accused was able to run the scam for six months

A month on, Chandigarh Police are going to summon 10 government school principals to join the investigation into the fake contractor scam, involving a bogus contractor masquerading as an NGO representative, which led to a massive financial fraud targeting 100 workers in Chandigarh.

The scam’s modus operandi involved Rajiv Kumar, a resident of Ram Darbar, who posed as an NGO representative under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. (HT File Photo)
The scam’s modus operandi involved Rajiv Kumar, a resident of Ram Darbar, who posed as an NGO representative under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. (HT File Photo)

The investigation will uncover the role of the principals, if any, and how the accused was able to run the scam for six months.

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The scam’s modus operandi involved Rajiv Kumar, a resident of Ram Darbar, who posed as an NGO representative under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

He promised to provide cleaners to 10 government schools in Chandigarh, assuring principals that the services will be free of cost and funded by his NGO. Kumar falsely claimed to have direct communication with the district education officer (DEO) and asserted that his organisation was tasked with providing sanitation workers across Chandigarh schools.

The scam came to light when residents of Dhanas Colony came forward with allegations of a fraudulent recruitment scheme orchestrated by Rajiv and his aunt Chanda Thakur.

According to a complaint filed by Sunita, one of the victims, Rajiv approached her with a purported tender for recruitment at DC rate. Claiming to have a requirement for 100 individuals for cleaning positions across various schools in the area, Rajiv convinced Sunita and others to partake in the scheme.

Under the guise of recruitment, Rajiv solicited money from victims, promising them employment opportunities. Sunita and several others transferred substantial sums of money, ranging from 30,000 to 65,000, via cash, Google Pay, and cheque payments.

Despite the promises, many individuals who paid for the alleged recruitment did not receive employment as assured. Initially, the cleaners were paid a nominal sum of 10,000 per month. However, payments soon ceased, leading to dissatisfaction among the workers.

The scam has reportedly duped approximately 100 individuals, with the fraud amounting to over 50 lakh.

In response to the scam, the UT education department had suspended the principals of the 10 implicated government schools for dereliction of duty. A committee was also formed to investigate the incident and recommend improvements to standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent future occurrences.

The Government Middle School (GMS) in Sector 26 reported that it had informed the UT education department back in November 2023 about engagement of cleaners from Delhi-based NGO Venus.

Harsuhinder Pal Singh Brar, director of school education, said, “The principals currently remain suspended due to dereliction of duty, as they failed to ensure whether the NGO had been in contact with the department or not.”

When questioned about whether any explanation was sought from the DEO for disregarding the letter from GMS-26, he mentioned that the school had already hired workers and did not seek prior approval.

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