Two arrested in Andhra Pradesh education scam
Apr 6, 2007 - 5:25:03 PM
Hyderabad, April 6 - A government employee and a woman who allegedly have links with officials in Chief Minister's Office - were arrested Friday in connection with a corruption scandal in education scheme.
The Andhra Pradesh government Friday ordered an inquiry by the crime branch of criminal investigation department into swindling of Rs.74 million meant for district primary education programme -, also known as Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan -.
Sarsa Devi, a native of Kadpa district who manages an advertising agency, was arrested in connection with the scam. A few hours earlier, V. Subrahmanyam, assistant accounts officer in SSA project director's office who allegedly drew funds meant for the scheme, was also taken into custody.
Subrahmanyam claimed he was innocent and alleged that he received instructions from some officials in CMO to deposit the funds in certain bank accounts.
He also named Sarsa Devi alleging that she withdrew funds meant for the project and that the misappropriation was going on for the past one year with the collusion of some senior officials. Following the disclosures made by him, Sarsa Devi was arrested.
The government has also ordered a department inquiry into the scandal by education secretary P. Krishnaiah.
The scandal came to light after officials in central government, which contributes 75 percent funds for SSA, pointed out that amount sanctioned did not tally with the expenditure statement submitted by the state authorities.
Two days ago, DPEP finance controller G. Brahmananda Rao had lodged a complaint with the police. Charges of forgery, misuse of government funds and cheating were framed against Subrahmanyam.
Meanwhile, leader of opposition and Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu said CMO had become hub of corruption. He said a junior officer was made scapegoat while attempts were being made to protect senior officials involved in the scandal.
'The state has never seen corruption at this level and on such a scale,' said Naidu.
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