Patna,(BiharTimes): Hardly any progress has been made in the Rs 600 crore paddy scam which first hit the headlines in a section of Press more than five years back.
The story was first done by Indian Express then but the local media underplayed it.
RTI activist Shiv Pravesh Rai had even filed a PIL in the Patna high court in this regard. He said that the scam runs into thousands of crores––about Rs 7,000 crores at least.
The Patna high court then ordered a CBI probe into the matter, but the latter refused to take up the matter on the plea of lack of resources.
However, independent sources said that the CBI refused because some people close to the ruling alliance in Bihar are involved in the paddy scam.
It was then that the vigilance was entrusted with the responsibility of investigating the scam with Patna high court monitoring it.
Now the scam has got a new twist last year. What happened was that officials of Muzaffarpur district had informed the state government that since heavy rain has badly damaged the paddy crops they should be sent to rice mills in West Bengal as those of Bihar are not capable of processing them.
So a decision was taken to send paddy crop from at least 10 districts of north Bihar, such as Darbhanga, Supaul, Madhepura, Saharsa, Katihar, Araria, Purnea etc to West Bengal. In all 17 lakh metric tonnes of paddy were reportedly transported to that state.
The five rice mills where the paddy crops were reportedly sent were Raiganj Foodgrains Pvt Ltd, North Dinajpur, Baba Rice Mill, North Dinajpur, M/s Rajganj Foodgrains, Sheetgram, Panishala, Raiganj, North Dinajpur, M/s Aniket Manish Rice Mill, Karan Digdhi, North Dinajpur and M/s Manokamna Rice Mill, Khalpas,
But when the vigilance team reached those places they found that the mills do not exist at all, so there was no question of transportation of rice. The whole story of damages crops was concocted and not a grain was transported from Bihar.
FIRs have been filed against 40 officials, transporters and truck owners.
What happened is that the officials involved created fake transport firms and submitted fake bills.
Paddy scam is a series of scams which hit Bihar in the recent months.
The irony is that scamsters involved in the paddy scam are yet to be smashed. That is why they continue to loot.