Mrunal Manmay Dash

An Assistant Civil Supplies Officer (ACSO) in Bolangir, Sarat Rout is in the dock for allegedly swindling rice meant for Public Distribution System (PDS).

The matter surfaced after a purported audio clip of a middleman surfaced in which he was heard extorting money, reportedly on behalf of Sarat Rout, from an SHG member employed to distribute the PDS rice.

It is pertinent to mention here that the PDS scam was alleged in Bolangir months back. An enquiry was ordered and the responsibility of the probe was vested on Rout.

However, the equation changed quickly after the audio clip and other allegations surfaced against Rout and he was removed from the probe team.

Lambodar Dharua, Additional Collector, Bolangir said, “A team has been formed with the Project Director of DUDA, two ACSOs and some MIs. They are conducting an enquiry into the allegations. Appropriate action will be taken after the report.”

Bolangir Sub-Collector, Kumar Naga Bhushan, said, “I have heard about the allegations against Rout. Rout was initially in the probe team. But after allegations against him surfaced, he was removed from the team four days back.”

When asked about the allegations, accused Sarat Rout said, “I do not know anything about the PDS scam. My higher authorities are in a better position to answer the question. An enquiry is underway and I cannot say anything until it is over.”

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