A local court in Dahod has remanded former IAS officer B D Ninama to six days in police custody till December 4 for allegedly running six bogus government offices. Ninama reportedly received grants to the tune of Rs 18.6 crore for implementing projects related to irrigation.
“Former IAS officer BD Ninama, who took a voluntary retirement in February, was arrested on Monday by Dahod district police for allegedly helping other accused in carrying out the scam when he was the project administrator of the state government’s ‘Tribal Area Sub Plan’ for Dahod district between 2019 and 2022,” Superintendent of Police, Rajdeepsinh Zala, was quoted as saying.
A national daily reported that the accused are charged under sections 170 (pretending to hold any particular office as a public servant and act in such assumed character), 419 (cheating by personation), 465 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (committing forgery for cheating), 471 (fraudulently or dishonestly using a forged document as genuine), 472 (Making or possessing counterfeit seal with intent to commit forgery), 474 (possession of forged documents shown as genuine) and 120(B) (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, similar to the charges invoked in the Chhota Udepur case.
Media reports citing police investigations claimed that conman Sandeep Rajput, who swindled over Rs 4.15 crore of government funds in three years, ran these operations in Dahod.
Rajput and his accomplices, Abu Bakr Saiyyed and Ankit Suthar, were arrested last month by the Chhota Udepur police following an FIR on October 26. It was alleged that the trio was running a fake irrigation division office at Bodeli.
The three executed a similar operation in Dahod. The scam was unearthed when a special investigation team had been probing the Chhota Udepur case, according to media reports.
On November 10, an FIR was lodged at Dahod A Division police station following a police complaint by Bhavesh Bamaniya, a senior clerk at the district’s project administrator’s office.
It mentioned that following the FIR registered at Chhota Udepur on October 26, the Dahod Project Administrator for Tribal Area Sub Plan, Smit Lodha, directed his office on October 30 to inquire if a similar scam had occurred in the district.
A report from the investigations presented to Lodha on November 9 identified six phoney offices and a scam of Rs 18.6 crore.
According to the FIR, Rajput and his cohorts “submitted 100 project estimates with the approval of the former project administrator (Ninama) and acquired a sum of Rs 18.6 crore into the bank accounts of six fake offices between February 2018 and March 2023”.
Further, it mentioned that Rajput impersonated himself as the executive engineer of the six forged offices in Dahod.
Each of the offices swindled close to Rs 3 crore of government grants under the tribal subplan.
The police claimed the scam took place between 2018 and 2023 when Ninama was first posted as the Project Administrator in Dahod district and when he was subsequently transferred as the District Development Officer in Porbandar.
18.59 crore: Government grants illegally secured by Rajput and his accomplices
Six: Number of fake offices they started such as
- Deputy executive engineer of Narmada Water Resources
- Water supply department
- Executive engineer of Narmada irrigation canal department
- Executive engineer of irrigation project division
- Executive engineer of irrigation project division 2
- Executive engineer of irrigation project division at another address and executive engineer of pipeline project division.