Maharashtra food, civil supplies department officials on strike

Nashik: Maharashtra Food and Supplies department officials have gone a state-wide strike after seven officers in the district were issued suspension letter in connection with an alleged multi-crore ration scam.

The seven tehsildars, who were allegedly found to be involved in Rs 5.6 crore misappropriation ration scam unearthed early this year, were handed over the suspension letter by Nashik Collector Dipendra Singh Kushwah yesterday. Soon after officials under the banner of State Tehsildar and Nayab-tehsildar Sanghathan went on a strike.

The suspension order was issued by State Food and Civil Supplies minister Girish Bapat on May 19. Sanghathan secretary Balasaheb Wakchaure said today that they have demanded that the suspension be revoked immediately and also threatened to go for 'pen down' strike from May 28 if their demand is not met.

Seven officers - Manoj Khairnar posted at Sinnar, Ganesh Rathod at Nashik, Kailash Kadlag at Peint, Mahendra Pawar at Igatpuri, Sandeep Aher at Niphad, Naresh Kumar Bahiram at Trimbakeshwar and Mandar Kulkarni at Dindori - were found to be involved in misappropriation of about 3,000 metric tonne food-grains supplied through PDS in tribal-dominated Surgana region of Nashik.

District supply officer Gyaneshwar Jawangal had lodged a complaint in this regard with Surgana police on January 26.

Bapat had on April 9 in the state Assembly said in reply to a question raised by Nashik BJP MLA Devyani Pharande, that a total 16 revenue department officials, including district supply officer and 9 tehsildars, will be suspended.

The Sanghathan has also sent memorandum to the Chief Minister office, divisional revenue commissioner and Collectorate in this regard.

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