Sardarpur (Madhya Pradesh): Sardarpur police on Wednesday arrested Sardarpur janpad panchayat assistant project officer Praveen Bhati, then assistant accounts officer Santosh Shailar (who is currently posted in Kukshi), and Bichiya gram panchayat sarpanch Kailash Bhuria in connection with the 2020 infamous MGNREGA scam.
The police produced them in the special court in Dhar, from where sarpanch Bhuria got bail, while Bhati and Shailar were sent to jail till April 17.
Two others, Khakedi gram panchayat secretary Sunil Garud and employment assistant Mukesh had previously been granted bail by the court.
Police are now searching for three sarpanches, four secretaries, and four employment assistants involved in this case. According to sources, the arrest of Shailendra Sharma, the retired CEO of the then Janpad Panchayat Sardarpur, is also going to happen soon.
The MGNREGA scam came to the fore in 2020. In the scam, irregularities totalling lakhs of rupees were done while registering the bank accounts of other persons on the job card numbers of the labourers hired under the MGNREGA scheme.
The involvement of the officers of the Rural Engineering Department, including the Economic Affairs Officer of the Janpad Panchayat, was discovered.
Following this, then SDM Vijay Rai had put four-gram panchayat sarpanchs, five secretaries and five employment assistants under the scanner.
They were booked under Sections 40 and 92 of the Gram Swaraj Act, 1993. The services of five employment assistants were terminated and five-gram panchayat secretaries were suspended. After a long investigation, some officials associated with the Janpad Panchayat have been found involved in the scam.