GB Nagar Home Guards raise alarm on social media about non-payment of salary since July
Not having received salary since July last year, when the alleged salary scam came to the fore, Home Guards personnel in Gautam Budh Nagar district have now started using social media to highlight the state of poverty their families have been pushed into.
On December 28, in reply to GB Nagar DM’s official tweet about fee regulation committee in schools, Parveen Ruhela, a Modinagar resident and Home Guard, currently deployed in the assistant regional transport office in Noida, wrote: “Home Guards ka wetan abhi tak bhi nahin mila hai char mahine ka. Sir, bachchon ki fees jama nahi ho pa ra hai, kahan se paise jama karein? RTO wale kah rahe hain ki budget hoga to paise denge. Bachchon ko jahar khila dein kya? (Since last four months, home guards have not received their salaries. Sir, we are unable to deposit our children’s school fee. RTO officers say they will give us salary when they get budgetary allocation. Should we kill our children?)”
Ruhela has been with the auxiliary force since 2002. The personnel have not received any salary despite repeated request to the district magistrate and minister.
“We do not have money for poison. We are destined to die of starvation,” another home guard in Noida, Jitender Singhal, tweeted.
While the new district commandant (home guards) Vedpal Singh Chaprana said he was yet to get acquainted with the problems faced by home guards in the district. “I joined last week. The offices are still sealed. Once the papers will come to me, I will try to release their salaries in due course. But, it is not going to happen immediately,” he said.
As per orders issued by the chief secretary, on November 15, payment of any duty allowance to the personnel will remain on hold till the completion of enquiry of forged muster rolls, he said, adding, “First, the claimant personnel will have to sign the muster rolls at their respective places of posting in presence of the officer in-charge there. Then, we will submit the reports to higher authorities in state headquarters to process the [salary] payment to the personnel from the treasury.”
GB Nagar district magistrate BN Singh also indicated that the plight of home guards is unlikely to end anytime soon. “The administration is making efforts to ensure personnel get their salary soon. But, it will happen within the course of law,” he said.
On November 13, 2019, the GB Nagar police, acting on a tip-off, had registered a case against unnamed officials for the alleged fraudulent withdrawal of salaries of 114 home guards personnel for 1,327 days, amounting to about ₹7 lakh after fudging attendance records. Records at the district commandant’s office were found burnt on November 18, the day the case was transferred to the crime branch.
However, as per estimates of different investigating agencies, including the police, officials of the home guards headquarters and forensic from Guajarat, the figure of alleged Home Guards’ salary scam is likely to cross ₹25 crore in GB Nagar alone. Sources said that the approximate money involved in the alleged scam in the state is likely to cross ₹500 crore-mark as similar cases have been registered in Lucknow and Bulandshahr districts. Besides these, investigators have also found evidence of the alleged scam in Aligarh, Kannauj, Agra, Baharaich, Allahabad, Varanasi and Ghaziabad as well.
During police interrogation, suspects have confessed that all the officials involved in the alleged scam had not only forged the muster rolls, but also used counterfeit seals to approve the payments. They had forged the muster rolls and marked attendance of several home guards. The higher officials had appointed some of the home guards personnel as ‘unpaid’ platoon commanders, for allotment of duties and collecting 50% of their remuneration as advance commission.
So far, GB Nagar police have arrested six suspects, including former district commandant Ram Narayan Chaurasia (currently posted as divisional commandant in Aligarh), assistant commandant Satish Chandra, besides unpaid platoon commanders—Satyaveer Yadav, Shailendra Kumar, Montu Kumar and Rajeev Kumar.
Call details of some of the personnel suspected to be involved in the alleged muster rolls’ fraud in the district have been sought, district commandant Chaprana said, adding, “We will be able to match their locations with the places of posting with this.”