The siphoned off wheat was meant for distribution under the Punjab government’s Atta Dal scheme.
The siphoned off wheat was meant for distribution under the Punjab government’s Atta Dal scheme.

Sultanpur Lodhi wheat scam: FIR recommended against two food supply inspectors

A senior functionary of district administration was aware of the matter but opted to remain silent, say officials
By Gagandeep Jassowal, Jalandhar
PUBLISHED ON AUG 04, 2021 01:13 AM IST

The Punjab food and civil supply department has recommended FIR against two food supply inspectors posted in Sultanpur Lodhi for allegedly siphoning off 24,000 quintal wheat meant for distribution under the state government’s Atta Dal scheme.

Kapurthala district food supply controller Geeta Bishambhu has written to senior superintendent of police (SSP) Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh for legal action against food inspectors Vivek Gupta and Bhupinder Singh.

Bishambhu said, “Also, a departmental inquiry was recommended against two other inspectors Vikas Sethi and Rajeshwar Singh to probe their role in the scam to the tune of 5 crore.”

While Vivek Gupta declined to comment, Bhupinder Singh claimed that he had no role in the alleged rip-off as he was posted in the Fatudhinga area of Sultanpur Lodhi sub-division.

Food and civil supplies minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu had suspended four food inspectors for not disbursing wheat to eligible beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act after the HT reported the scam on June 25.

Bishambhu conducted a probe after Sultanpur Lodhi MLA Navtej Singh Cheema and members of the Kisan Union lodged multiple complaints over non-disbursement of wheat from October 2020 to March 2021 to beneficiaries. It was found that the department’s Sultanpur Lodhi centre didn’t provide records of wheat distribution to the inspection teams despite repeated orders.

It was noted in the report that the department staff posted at Sultanpur Lodhi was guilty of “grave negligence” and did not even listen to the district circle office.

An official privy to the matter said that a senior functionary of the district administration was aware of the matter but opted to remain silent.

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