Hundreds of people, mostly belonging to minority community, staged a demonstration outside the district administrative complex here on Friday demanding stringent action against the District Minority Welfare officer who allegedly misappropriated public funds

The protesters alleged that higher-ups in the administrative apparatus were backing the officer.

“A major portion of the funds meant for building shaadi mahals (wedding halls) for minority community people has been misappropriated when Pasha was the District Minority Welfare Officer. Despite media reports and the several representations, no action has been taken against him,” Manjunath B. Hagaragi, president of JKRV, told
The Hindu
.

According to Mr Hagaragi, of the 34 shaadi mahals sanctioned to the district, none was complete, but the bills for all were cleared.

“The allocated funds for each shaadi mahal were Rs. 25 lakh which was supposed to be released in four equal instalments as the construction of the building progresses. However, in most of the cases, the entire amount was drawn in a single instalment without the completion of the building. When the scam was exposed a year ago, Harsh Gupta, the then Regional Commissioner, had appointed a panel to probe the scam and the committee submitted a report holding the officer guilty. Mr. Gupta then wrote to the government recommending action against the officer. Yet, no action is taken thus far. Worst is that the tainted officer who was transferred to Social Welfare Department when his scandal was out, has now been, within a year, reinstated in his original position as the district minority welfare officer,” Mr Hagaragi said.

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