Rashmi Ranjan

A youth allegedly duped jobseekers to the tune of Rs 15 lakh by promising them jobs and later decamped with the money at Nuasahi Sahi area under Mohana block in Gajapati district.

According to sources, the youth, Mark Pradhan, introduced himself as Ashish Pradhan and set up Holiness Women’s Welfare Foundation.

He collected Rs 5000 to Rs 6000 from jobseekers promising them jobs of block coordinators and panchayat coordinators in Digapahandi, Hinjilicut, Aska, Shergarh and Patrapur blocks in Ganjam districts, sources informed.

Besides, he also assured the aspirants of giving Rs 13,000 per month as salary and collected Rs 3,600 from the coordinators as registration fee by providing them with baby kit. 

But when these coordinators did not get their salary even after working for three months, eight of them visited Pradhan’s house. But, he fled the spot after an altercation broke out between them.

Meanwhile, the victims have threatened to approach Superintendent of Police and Odisha State Commission for Women if they don’t get back their money.

“We asked him to come to Digapahandi office and sign an agreement, but he refused. When we demanded back our money, he expressed inability. Finding no other option, we went to his house. But, he started pelting stones at us following an altercation,” alleged Padmabati Pradhan, a victim.

“Pradhan has fled the village. I will take necessary action to ensure the victims get back their hard-earned money,” assured Sikulipadar sarpanch, Satya Dandasena.