Two arrested in Rs.100 mn Andhra education scam
Apr 6, 2007 - 10:18:54 PM
Hyderabad, April 6 - Two people, including a woman, reportedly with links with officials in Chief Minister's Office -, were arrested Friday in connection with a corruption scandal to the tune of Rs.100 million in an education scheme.
Hyderabad police commissioner Balwinder Singh told a news conference Friday evening that the police were probing the involvement of other officials in the scam.
Earlier, the government ordered an inquiry by the criminal investigation department into swindling of Rs.74 million meant for district primary education programme -, also known as Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan -.
The police commissioner, however, said interrogation of the two arrested revealed that Rs.100 million had been misappropriated.
V. Subrahmanyam, assistant accounts officer in SSA project director's office and Sarsa Devi, a native of Kadpa district who manages advertising agencies, were produced before the media.
While Subrahmanyam was taken into custody after he surrendered Thursday night, Sarsa Devi was arrested from a hotel in Secunderabad.
Sarsa Devi, who had left a teacher's job in 1993 in Kadpa, had migrated to Hyderabad the same year. She allegedly has links with Suryudu, private secretary to Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.
She, however, told media persons that except her and Subrahmanyam, no other person was involved in the scam. The woman also claimed that the scam had started before the Congress came to power in 2004.
The police commissioner said the funds meant for the scheme were diverted and deposited in their nine bank accounts.
He said both Subrahmanyam and Sarsa Devi had acquired prime property worth millions of rupees. The police later raided her houses and seized documents. 'A clear picture will emerge only after scrutiny of bank accounts and property documents,' he said.
Sarasa Devi owns prime properties including the one house in posh Banjara Hills, flats at Alwal and RTC crossroads and lands on the outskirts.
Subrahmanyam admitted that he had five bank accounts and 21 insurance policies. He also owns property at Miyapur, Attapur and Gachibowli, the fast developing areas on the city outskirts.
The scandal came to light after officials in the 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.
Meanwhile, leader of opposition and Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu said CMO had become the 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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