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UP Home Guard Salary Fraud: Divisional Commandant Among 5 Arrested in Noida

The attendance logs of all personnel since 2014 in the district were found destroyed in the fire amid an ongoing investigation into the alleged salary fraud, prompting Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to intervene.

PTI

Updated:November 20, 2019, 10:10 PM IST
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UP Home Guard Salary Fraud: Divisional Commandant Among 5 Arrested in Noida
Image for representation.

Noida (UP): Five home guard officials, including a divisional commandant posted in Aligarh, were arrested on Wednesday for their alleged role in the fraudulent withdrawal of salaries of scores of the force's personnel, the Noida police said.

Their arrest came a day after muster rolls (attendance logs) of all home guard personnel were found burnt in a box inside the Gautam Buddh Nagar district home guard commandant's office in Greater Noida.

The attendance logs of all personnel since 2014 in the district were found destroyed in the fire amid an ongoing investigation into the alleged salary fraud, prompting Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to intervene.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Vaibhav Krishna, said five officials have been held for their suspected role in the fraudulent withdrawal of salaries case.

"Home Guards' present Divisional Commandant, Aligarh, Ram Narayan Chaurasia (42), Assistant District Commandant Satish Chandra (35), and Platoon commanders Montu Kumar (32), Satveer Yadav (38) and Shailendra Kumar (30) have been arrested in the salary scam case," Krishna said.

Chaurasia is the mastermind of the alleged scam which he initiated since his appointment as District Home Guard commandant in Gautam Buddh Nagar in 2017 until he got promoted and transferred in 2019, he said.

"While Chaurasia was picked up for questioning from Aligarh, the others deployed locally were also called in for inquiry over the matter and arrested on Wednesday afternoon," Krishna told PTI.

The police also suspects their role in the fire at the Gautam Buddh Nagar commandant office in which attendance logs got burnt but said they are not named as accused in the case as yet as a separate probe is underway.

The Noida police chief said the irregularities in withdrawal of salary of home guards appears to have existed before 2017 also but it had become prominent in the last two years.

Earlier in July, it came to light that salaries of scores of home guards deployed here were withdrawn despite them showing up for work only half of the time during May and June, prompting officials to launch a probe into the matter.

A sample analysis of fraud in seven police stations of Noida showed that in May and June this year, 114 home guards were given Rs 7.07 lakh in salary for 1327 work days, and about 50 per cent of it was based on forged muster rolls, police said.

It estimated that the total fraud could be around Rs 3.50 crore to Rs 4 crore, and said a detailed analysis of attendance logs, which are available with the police, is underway.

Meanwhile, a team of forensic experts from Gujarat arrived in Greater Noida for analysing the burnt documents of attendance which are crucial for unearthing the irregularities.

"We have enough evidence against the accused persons to ensure appropriate legal proceedings against them in the case," SSP Krishna said.

An FIR was lodged against home guard officials for fraud and forgery over the fraudulent withdrawal of salaries of the force's personnel on November 13.

The First Information Report (FIR) was lodged under Indian Penal Code sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), 420 (fraud), 467, 468 and 471 (all three related to forgery of documents).

Part of the auxiliary force, home guards are not permanent employees and are recruited on a casual basis. They do not have any fixed monthly salary and are paid based on the number of days of duty.

Around 700 home guards are presently deployed in Gautam Buddh Nagar, the police said.

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