5 held for forging caste certificates

Berhampur: Five persons, including a woman teacher and her father, were arrested in Odisha’s Kandhamal district on Monday on charges of forging their caste certificates and getting government benefits.

Police said Debendra Pradhan, a retired teacher and his daughter Raisa Pradhan, a teacher in Kalinga nodal upper primary school, Kameswara Mallick, 60, and his two brothers Alakash and Ispan of Dakabadu village, were the five accused having created forged documents.

Kandhamal Superintendent of Police, K V Singh said they were arrested yesterday on basis of an FIR lodged by the district welfare officer (DWO), Kandhamal.

The DWO lodged an FIR after the state level scrutiny committee (SLSC), inquiring into the fake caste certificate issue confirmed the forgery.

While Pradhan and his daughter had got the teacher job by producing fake caste certificates, the other three had availed of government benefits. With this, the number of arrested persons in fake caste certificate cases in the district has gone up to 25 in the last two years, police said.

Kui Samaj Samanwaya Samiti (KSSS), a tribal outfit, has been demanding action against people getting government benefits by producing fake tribal certificates since last five years. The tribal outfit has identified around 1,000 such persons.