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SPO fraud case: SPM, husband react to allegations
TDP News Desk
ITANAGAR, Nov 24: The couple in the middle of the uproar over fraud allegation made by depositors of the Chowkham sub-post office (SPO) today termed the allegation baseless, saying it was aimed at maligning their images.
Twelve account holders of the Chowkham SPO in Namsai district had in September written to the NE circle chief postmaster general, claiming that they were duped by the then SPM Ranjana Singh in connivance with her husband Balraj Singh, who is the postal assistant at the Namsai PO.
One of the account holders, retired doctor Rajendra Kumar Varshney, had earlier lodged an FIR against the SPM at the Chowkham police station.
“The allegation of embezzling rupees four lakhs does not hold any ground because the period it is claimed to have taken place in is contradictory,” Balraj Singh told the The Dawnlit Post.
He said his wife had handed over the charge of the Chowkham SPO to postmaster PP Sharma on May 1, 2015, while the alleged embezzlement took place in September of the same year.
“All the transactions were done during Sharma’s tenure, and the documents required for withdrawing money from Dr Varshney’s recurring deposit were also signed by Sharma and Dr Varshney himself,” Balraj claimed.
He also questioned the possibility of opening an account or withdrawing money without the account holder’s knowledge and KYC documents.
On being asked, Balraj denied the allegation that he had threatened Dr Varshney. “I’m a bona fide government servant, and I know my limits and understand that I’m bound by the law. However, the investigation will reveal whether or not I threatened him,” he said with confidence.
He also denied owning any tea plantation – a claim made by Dr Varshney in his FIR. “As per the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964, I cannot own a business of profit,” said Balraj.
On the anticipatory bail which the couple obtained before their statement had been taken by the police, Balraj said they took the step to protect themselves against the non-bailable warrant issued against them.
On her part, Ranjana Singh said she has “no idea why Dr Varshney and Sharma are trying to malign our reputation.”
She said she had deposited Rs 331430 in Dr Varshney’s wife’s bank account “because we were on good terms then,” but denied ever convincing Dr Varshney to deposit another Rs four lakhs in September, saying “one cannot give assurances about something one doesn’t know anything about.”
“Dr Varshney and Sharma are trying to malign our reputation by involving other complainants to make their case stronger, for reasons only they know,” said Ranjana.
“If there were other account holders with complaints, why didn’t they turn up while I was posted at the Chowkham SPO? Why now?” she wondered.
She added that while it may be understandable that she was dragged into the matter as she was part of the Chowkham SPO, it was unjustified to bring her husband’s name into it as he has never served there.