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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

Home Guard salary racket could be beyond GB Nagar, may cross Rs 20 cr

Earlier this month, police registered a case against unknown Home Guards officials on a tip about the alleged fraudulent withdrawal of salaries of over 114 Home Guards for 1,327 days to over Rs 7 lakh after allegedly faking their attendance.

noida Updated: Nov 26, 2019 06:44 IST
Sanjeev K Jha
Sanjeev K Jha
Hindustan Times, Noida
Five senior Home Guard officials were arrested in the case  on November 20, 2019.
Five senior Home Guard officials were arrested in the case on November 20, 2019.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT PHOTO)
         

If the preliminary police enquiries are any indication, the alleged financial regularities in the Home Guard salaries in Gautam Budh Nagar may likely be over Rs 20 crore.

Earlier this month, police registered a case against unknown Home Guards officials on a tip about the alleged fraudulent withdrawal of salaries of over 114 Home Guards for 1,327 days to over Rs 7 lakh after allegedly faking their attendance.

Five days later, the attendance records at district commandant’s office in Surajpur were found reduced to ashes under mysterious conditions. Five officials were arrested in the case on November 20.

Prashant Kumar, additional director general (Meerut zone), on Monday said the suspects allegedly confessed to the crime during questioning.

“On the basis of comparison of different records, the amount involved in this scam appears to be crossing the Rs 20-crore mark,” he said.

The ADG further said forensic experts from Gujarat have been called to investigate the fire at the district commandant office in Greater Noida. “Since we had inputs that these suspects could influence the local forensic officials, we preferred experts from other states for fair enquiry,” he said.

Sunil Kumar, senior staff officer of director general (Home Guard) headquarters in Lucknow, who is leading the three-member probe team, said, “The exact amount involved in this scam is yet to be ascertained, but it is likely to exceed Rs 20 crore,” he said.

Sunil Kumar said his team have been thoroughly checking all the documents in the Sector 39 and Phase 3 police stations in Greater Noida.

At present, 375 Home Guard personnel, are deployed in GB Nagar district and they get daily wage of Rs 672 as per the norms. While 50 of them are working with Noida traffic police and around 20 in Gautam Budh Nagar district collectorate, others have duties in different police stations.

When HT reached out to some of them, they pointed out that the investigations could lead to a larger racket, extending all the way up to Aligarh.

When contacted, one of them working with the traffic police, said on condition of anonymity that divisional commandant had touts in other districts like Ghaziabad, Baghpat and Aligarh.

“I can name dozens of my colleagues who got their deployment in those areas after paying a hefty sum in advance. The calculation was very simple: we had to pay Rs 350 per day against our daily wages of Rs 672. Some of us have even transferred the sum directly in the bank account of these officials,” he said.

Another Home Guard, deployed in the district magistrate’s office, alleged that despite seniority, he could not get his deployment until he paid Rs 60,000 as bribe.

Five officials, including former district commandant Ram Narayan Chaurasia (currently posted as divisional commandant in Aligarh), assistant commandant Satish Chandra and platoon commanders — Satyaveer Yadav, Shailendra Kumar and Montu Kumar — have been arrested in this connection. They are on police remand till Tuesday.