Case against Bihar official for embezzling flood relief funds

January 3rd, 2009 - 3:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Jan 3 (IANS) A case was lodged against four people, including a block development officer (BDO), for allegedly embezzling flood relief funds in Bihar’s Purnia district, police sources said Saturday.Manorma Devi, the pramukh (village chief) of Banmankhi block in the district, lodged a case against four people including BDO Shailesh Kumar, whom she accused of forcing her to sign papers for release of relief funds, amounting to Rs.18.7 million, for the 14 flood-affected wards of the block.

She also accused deputy pramukh Naval Kishor Yadav of verbally abusing her for the delay in signing the papers for release of the funds.

Kumar, however, denied the charges.

More than three million people were rendered homeless in Purnia, Araria, Supaul, Madhepura and Saharsa districts of the state when the Kosi river breached its bank upstream in Nepal and changed course Aug 18, 2008, flooding large tracts of land and forcing millions of people to flee their homes.

Reports reaching here said hundreds of flood victims continued to protest against the inadequate assistance provided by the state government to them, more than four months after the the worst floods seen in the last 50 years.

Opposition leaders have repeatedly alleged large-scale swindling of funds by officials involved in relief work. However, the state government has not ordered a probe into the allegations, despite the fact that state had seen a flood relief scam after the 2004 floods in north Bihar.

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