Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today recommended a CBI probe into the alleged Bhagalpur Srijan NGO scam, according to PTI. On Monday, three more persons in connection with the NGO scam were arrested taking the total arrests to 11, as per Indian Express. The Opposition has sought to embarrass Nitish Kumar government with the Srijan scam by alleging direct involvement of the CM and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi. The scam is about alleged transfer of government funds to an NGO Srijan Mahila Sahyog Samiti in Bihar’s district Bhagalpur. The NGO used to earn a high rate of interest on the government funds while keeping the principal amount intact. It is believed the ambit of the case may go beyond Bhagalpur to other districts of the state.
The CBI probe was recommended hours after former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav took to Twitter and said, Nitish ji is pressuring the media to suppress the news of Srijan NGO scam. He added that the people now know about it. Tejashwi asked the state government, “for how many days will you suppress the truth?” Tejashwi is now in Bhagalpur as he is on Janadesh Apman Yatra. “It is high time that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar recommend a CBI probe into Srijan scam as he has repeatedly been claiming zero tolerance against corruption,” Yadav had said, as per IE. Lalu Prasad has also attacked the government saying, “Nitish Kumar should sack Sushil Kumar Modi immediately if he has zero tolerance against corruption, and arrest him. There are solid pieces of evidence against Modi,” the report added.
The NGO allegedly carried out this fraud for a period of 7 years between 2007 and 2014. Its operations were hit last year after the death of its founder Manorama Devi in February. Her son Amit Kumar and daughter-in-law Priya Kumar, secretary of NGO Srijan Mahila Sahyog Samiti Limited, are absconding, according to Indian Express. Several reports peg the total worth of the scam to be over Rs 500-crore. According to IANS, the scam could be worth over Rs 1000-crore, while The Indian Express reported on August 15 that the scam is suspected to be worth over Rs 700 crore.