Misuse of state funds for CSWs: Pune police arrest five
PUNE A week after HT reported how funds meant for sex workers (CSWs) as part of assistance offered by government during lockdown had been siphoned, Pune police arrested five persons in the case on Thursday.
According to officials, an FIR has been filed against six persons, including three women from KayaKalp, an NGO. The complaint accuses the six of diverting the state funds. As per the complaint the accused took ₹10,000 out of every ₹15,000 they accessed, on the pretext of paying government officials.
Dattawadi police arrested Gauri Gurang (32), a resident of Dhanakwadi; Savita Karishma Lashkare (26), and Sarika Lashkare (30), both residents of Yerawada; Amol Mali (25), and Mahesh Ghadsingh (20).
The sixth suspect, identified with a last name as Sonawane, is currently not traceable, said police.
“The accused were produced before the court which remanded them to police custody till May 17,” said assistant public prosecutor Kiran Bendhar.
The state government had released ₹7.94 crore to be transferred to 5,296 bank accounts belonging to sex workers in Pune based on a Supreme Court order that victims of the flesh trade be compensated by the administration with provision of foodgrains and cash. The court ruled that no documentary proof must be taken from victims while delivering the welfare measures.
HT reported that how part of funds went to the bank accounts of women not CSWs, living in Annabhau Sathe nagar, Tarawade vasti, and Mohammadwadi.
“The Dattawadi police conducted an inquiry of 75 women and found out that 6,000 sex workers were eligible for the funds. We have spoken to 75 women who were not sex workers and yet, were paid this amount. We are now investigating the list provided by Kaya Kalp to see how many of the women registered are genuine sex workers,” said police inspector Krishna Indalkar, an investigating official in the case.
Pune district collector Rajesh Deshmukh has also ordered n inquiry under sub-divisional magistrate Santosh Kumar Deshmukh.
“I have spoken to 20 of the women that the police inquired into and they all pointed to an individual running an Aids control organisation. We are preparing the data which will be presented to the collector on Monday,” said Deshmukh.
Saheli Sangh, an NGO, and the National Network of Sex Workers (India), have meanwhile protested and condemned the corruption.
“We have been conducting a rapid assessment survey among the 2,000-odd sex workers in Budhwar peth and so far, we have covered 358 women of which 138 are saying they did not receive the money even after submitting documents,” said Tejasvi Sevekari of Saheli Sangh.
An Amritsar man, who allegedly supplied weapons to shooters involved in Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala's murder, has been arrested by the Ludhiana police. Satbir's accomplices Mandeep Singh of Batala, Manpreet Singh of Amritsar and a third unidentified person managed to escape, said the SHO. The police also seized a pistol and two live cartridges from the suspect beside impounding a Delhi-registered Toyota Fortuner in which he was travelling.
A mega drive against use of polythene was launched to make Varanasi city and its ghats pollution free under the RACE campaign ((Reduction, Awareness, Circular, and Engagement) by government of Uttar Pradesh. Varanasi mayor Mridula Jaiswal started the mega drive in collaboration with GIZ India and SEED. Under this campaign, people are being made aware about ban on single-use plastic. A signature campaign for plastic-free environment was initiated and cloth bags were distributed.
Four women, who were travelling from Jammu to Varanasi in two sleeper coaches of Begampura Express, were looted between Bareilly and Rampur on the intervening night of Thursday and Wednesday. The incident happened on the moving train. The FIR of loot has been lodged with Government Railway Police station in Lucknow under Indian Penal Code section 392 on Wednesday when the train reached here in the afternoon.
Quicked is empty for story with id 101656615933833
Quicked is empty for story with id 101656615807451