By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 4 Sep: Police SIT today arrested Anurag Shankhdhar, the main accused in the infamous scholarship scam, from Dehradun. This scam involved scam of crores of rupees. Shankhdhar, was District Social Welfare Officer of Udham Singh Nagar when the scam happened. He is accused in 44 of the 60 cases registered in the district. The SIT will interrogate Shankhdhar by taking him on remand. In Udham Singh Nagar district, from the year 2011 to 2018, there was a big divergence in the allocation of SC, ST and OBC scholarships. In the first phase, 303 educational institutions from outside states were investigated as well as 3034 children were questioned, in which scams of more than Rs 14 crores were exposed. Many students were denied admission in colleges, after which the SIT had registered 60 cases against the then social welfare officer, employees as well as middlemen in various police stations including Jaspur, Kashipur.
Anurag Shankhdhar, who was the then District Social Welfare Officer during that period, has also been made an accused in most of these cases. The cases led to the arrest of middlemen including two government teachers. In the second phase, the SIT is investigating 217 educational institutions in the district and out of these 36 institutions have already been investigated. These institutions include 80 government and 137 private educational institutions. No irregularities have been found in the second phase of investigation so far.
The police arrested Anurag in a case registered in Dehradun. Anurag has been arrested twice in the past in connection with the scam. SP City / SIT in-charge Mamta Bohra said that Anurag Shankhdhar is an accused in most of the 60 cases registered in the scholarship scam in the district. Shankhdhar was the District Social Welfare Officer at the time when the scams were perpetrated. Anurag is being taken on remand and questioned about the cases registered in the district.
It may be recalled that earlier, the SIT had arrested Ramvatar, a former social welfare officer of Dehradun, in the scam. A case was registered against Ramvatar Singh at Dalanwala police station. It is alleged that while in office, he issued a scholarship of about 27 lakh rupees to an institute in Saharanpur in a fraudulent manner. This scholarship was fraudulently misused by the owners and officials of the institute.