Bihar government now targets corrupt middlemen

Patna, Jan 21 (IANS) After corrupt officials, it is now the turn of middlemen who indulged in misappropriation of government funds to have their properties confiscated by the Bihar government.

Bihar police chief Abhyanand Saturday said the state government has approved a proposal to confiscate the properties of two middlemen in Araria district.
“It is the first such move in Bihar when ill-gotten property of middlemen, non- government men, will be confiscated,” he said.
According to district police officials, the process of confiscation of properties of the middlemen – Rudranand Jha and Rampukar Choudhary – has begun. The two are accused of shiphoning off Rs.30 crore from the government’s Indira Awas Yojana funds between 2001 to 2008.
Purnia DIG Amit Kumar said the district administration will confiscate their 22 plots after a court order.
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 (IAY) meant to build houses for the poor. No middleman or any other agency that swindled the poor will be tolerated in Bihar, he 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 of funds allocated for houses under the Indira Awaas Yojana in Bihar.
Till date, the Bihar government has confiscated the houses of an IAS officer Shiv Shankar Verma and a treasury clerk Girish Kumar in Patna.
Proceedings to confiscate properties of some more officials, including former state drug controller Y.K. Jaiswal, revenue officer Yogendera Prasad Singh, engineer Srikant Prasad, former director general of police Narayan Mishra, and former Rajbhasha Parishad director B.N. Chowdhary have also been initiated.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar gave his nod for prosecution of 11 officials of various departments Nov 11. Kumar had declared a war against corruption after becoming chief minister for the second consecutive term in November 2010.