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Crime Branch unearths major ration scam in Pulwama

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SRINAGAR, SEPTEMBER 07: The Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police today unearthed a major ration pilferage and misappropriation scam in Pulwama during surprise check and inspection of godowns and offices of Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs.

“During a series of raids conducted today it was found that rations worth crores of rupees have been black-marketed taking undue advantage of prevailing situation in the Valley,” a spokesman of the Crime Branch said.

He said the Crime Branch sleuths conducted extensive raids in Awantipora and Pulwama areas on 6 September 2016 followed by inspection of records wherein it was found that ration meant for BPL ration card holders under Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Food Entitlement Scheme (MMSFES) has been grossly misappropriated by officials of the Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs as well as dealers and operators in connivance with black-marketeers.

The spokesman said the inspections conducted by the Crime Branch sleuths revealed that ration distribution was made on papers however in actual no ration was distributed among the rationees in the areas. “It was found that various officials of FCS&CA Department in league with each other had misappropriated hundreds of quintals of ration showing it as being distributed among the families without any actual distribution from the depots and shops,” the statement said adding the ration so misappropriated was sold in open market at exorbitant rates in view of current situation taking undue advantage of the artificial scarcity of the ration created by a group of officials.

The Crime Branch spokesman further said that physical check of supplies in district granary Pulwama in presence of Magistrates also revealed excess quantity of 45 quintals of rice against actual balance supposed to be in the godown which was stored illegally for sale in black market as a part of ongoing scam. “The concerned officials fled from the scene sensing trouble and have been summoned to associate with the probe which is underway for the whole valley,” he said adding the Investigation team feared that there is likelihood of similar frauds being committed in other districts as well.

He said an in-depth investigation into the misappropriation of ration, its pilferage and black-marketing has been initiated by Crime Branch Kashmir in a time bound manner for stringent action against the black-marketeers and officials involved in the scam. “Further investigations are underway to ascertain the losses incurred to state exchequer and actual amount of pilferage enabling the agency to fix responsibility and initiate action against the culprits,” he said.

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