BERHAMPUR: Police arrested a woman on Saturday on charges of furnishing fake caste certificate to contest for the post of sarpanch in 2007 at Kirikuti gram panchayat in Kandhamal district. The accused was identified as Puspanajli Pradhan, police said on Sunday.
Kandhamal district welfare officer (DWO) had lodged an FIR against her after state level scrutiny committee ( SLSC) confirmed she produced a bogus scheduled tribe certificate in the run-up to the polls, police said.
Pradhan’s arrest came close on the heels of police nabbing a samiti member Manjushree Pradhan on similar charges in the district recently. Manjushree was arrested on February 8 for allegedly producing a fake certificate to win as samiti member of Tikabali gram panchayat.
It may be mentioned here that the Kue Samaj Samanyaya Samiti (KSSS), a tribal outfit in the district, has been demanding action against people getting government benefits by producing fake tribal certificates since the past five years.
Even though KSSS had identified as many as 976 people from Kandhamal district, who have been getting benefits by producing fake certificates, the government has taken action against only a few offenders, the tribal leaders alleged.