Odishatv Bureau

Athagarh: Former Panchayat Executive Officer (PEO) and Gram Rozgar Sevak (GRS) of Gurudijhatia Gram Panchayat in Athagarh block of Cuttack district landed in trouble after a complaint was registered with police against them for allegedly misappropriating old age pension.

As per preliminary investigation, ex-PEO Phakir Jena and GRS Swagatika Mishra allegedly misappropriated pension funds to the tune of Rs 2.5 lakh. The pension money was withdrawn in the name of some beneficiaries who are already dead, informed sources.

"It is known from the investigation that misappropriation has taken place in the panchayat. We have initiated strong action against the guilty. Complaint has been registered with police against the Panchayat Executive Officer (PEO) and Gram Rojgar Sevak (GRS). Exemplary action will be taken against them," BDO Hemant Swain said.

Earlier, it was also alleged that the pension was disbursed in the name of 186 beneficiaries though 160 beneficiaries were enlisted.

"As our beneficiary is dead, they refused to give the old age pension and took away the pension book," relative of a dead beneficiary on whose name pension was being withdrawn said.

Some beneficiaries alleged they have been deprived of the benefit. "My old age pension has not been disbursed for last two years. I have approached the officials several times," a beneficiary said.