Probe reveals fraud in drought compensation payment

A probe by assistant commissioner has revealed that officials of the Revenue department in Arakalgud had forged drought compensation cheques and encashed over Rs 10 lakh.

According to sources, officials had allegedly forged the signature of the then Arakalgud tahsildar M R Jagadish on 26 cheques and withdrew money from the State Bank of Mysore’s Arakalgud branch between April and June 2012.

The State government had declared Arakalgud taluk as drought-hit during 2011-12 and granted compensation to small and marginal farmers who had suffered crop loss. The compensation amount ranged from Rs 250 to Rs 1,000.

The officials distributed compensation cheques to a few farmers and kept the remaining ones with them. They allegedly altered the amount mentioned in these cheques, for instance Rs 250 became Rs 25,000 and Rs 500 became Rs 50,000. Later, they forged the signature of the tahsildar and presented the cheques to the bank.

Sensing some irregularities in distribution of compensation cheques, Hassan Deputy Commissioner had directed the Sakaleshpur assistant commissioner Sri Vidya to probe the matter. As the probe revealed forgery and fraud, the incumbent tahsildar Eshwarappa filed a complaint with the Arkalagud Town police late Monday night. It is suspected that misappropriation may run into many more lakhs.

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