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Bihar govt now seizes properties of corrupt middlemen

February 13, 2012 16:35 IST

After confiscating properties of corrupt officials, Bihar government has now confiscated properties of two middlemen who indulged in misappropriation of government funds, officials on Monday said.

Purnia Divisional Inspector General of Police Amit Kumar said that for the first time in the country, the state government has confiscated properties of two middlemen accused of corruption.

"We have confiscated 28 properties of two middlemen Rudranand Jha and Rampukar Choudhary, accused of siphoning off Rs 30 crore from the government's Indira Awas Yojana funds between 2001 to 2008, in Araria district," Kumar said.

Kumar said that government confiscated their properties following the local court order.

He also said that police have identified other ill gotten properties of the two middlemen. "We will soon confiscate all of them," he added.

Bihar police chief Abhyanand said that before this move, government only confiscated ill gotten properties of officials in the state.

"It is a big step to curb corruption as now the government will target other middlemen accused of misappropriation of government funds," he said.

Abhyanand said that earlier this month Bihar government has approved a proposal to confiscate the properties of two middlemen in Araria.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has warned that the government will not tolerate middlemen. He has also said that the government has initiated several measures to eliminate middlemen in disbursal of funds under the Indira Awas Yojana meant to build houses for the poor.

No middleman or any other agency that swindled the poor will be tolerated in Bihar, Nitish Kumar has reiterated.

Last year in August, a Mahadalit man, his wife and three children committed suicide in Aurangabad district after being harassed and cheated of money by a middleman.

This shocking incident exposed rampant corruption and forgery by middlemen over funds allocated for houses under the Indira Awaas Yojana in Bihar.

Till date, the Bihar government has confiscated the houses of IAS officer Shiv Shankar Verma and treasury clerk Girish Kumar in Patna.

Last month a special vigilance court ordered the confiscation of the assets of former Bihar police chief Narayan Mishra and his wife on corruption charges.

The court has asked the Patna district magistrate to make the seizures within 30 days. Mishra has been accused of having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Proceedings to confiscate properties of some more officials, including former state drug controller Y K Jaiswal, revenue officer Yogendra Prasad Singh, engineer Srikant Prasad and former Rajbhasha Parishad director B N Chowdhary have also been initiated.

Nitish Kumar gave his nod for the prosecution of 11 officials of various departments on November 11 last year.

Kumar had declared a war against corruption after becoming chief minister for the second consecutive term in November 2010.

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M I Khan in Patna