Villagers availing benefits using ‘fake’ SC certificates - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Monday, November 4, 2019

Villagers availing benefits using ‘fake’ SC certificates


Villagers availing benefits using ‘fake’ SC certificates

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 3

Residents of Alampur village of Kauli Block of Patiala have been allegedly availing government benefits by using “fake” Scheduled Caste certificates.

An RTI reply shows over 200 villagers belonging to the unreserved category were availing free electricity meant for the reserved category.

The RTI reply also revealed that the village population was 1,171 as per the 2001 census. However, it increased to 1,219 as per the 2011 census. But, the census data revealed that the Scheduled Caste population increased from 288 in 2001 to 818 – a rise of 530, while people belonging to the unreserved category decreased from 883 to 401. The rise in SC population and decrease in the unreserved category — without any substantial increase in village population — has raised eyebrows over the alleged fake certificates.

Last week, the Phule Ambedkari Gauravshali and Adarshwadi Muhim (PAIGAAM), an NGO, has filed a complaint to the National State Commission for Scheduled Caste, saying that villagers were allegedly having fake SC certificates. SR Ladhar, former principal secretary, state in-charge of PAIGAAM, said, “We have filed a complaint to the commission to act against them. If this continues, the needy will devoid of their rights.”

Experts said people misuse these fake certificates to contest the Panchayat elections from a reserved seat and to gain one-third common panchayat land — reserved, exclusively, for the Scheduled Castes.

Tejinder Kaur, chairperson, Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission, said, “We had received the complaint on the fake Scheduled Caste certificates. We will take appropriate action.”

Kirpa Shankar Saroj, principal secretary, Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities, said, “The District Welfare Officer has almost completed the inquiry...a report will be submitted to the state committee. After its decision, we will take action.”

Earlier this year as well, three Rajputs were found having fake Scheduled Caste certificates. Later, the Deputy Commissioner had cancelled their certificates and the Punjab Schedule Caste Commission had ordered criminal action against the guilty.

MISMATCHING FIGURES 

An RTI reply shows a mismatch in the population figures of Alampur village of Kauli Block of Patiala. The rise in SC population and decrease in the unreserved category — without any substantial increase in village population — has raised eyebrows over the alleged fake certificates.

Overall population

1,171 as per 2001 census
1,219 as per 2011 census

SC figures

288 as per 2001 census
818 as per 2011 census

Unreserved category

883 as per 2001 census
401 as per 2011 census

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