NGO chief held for collecting money for SHG registration

Berhampur: Chief of an NGO has been arrested for allegedly collecting money for registration of women self-help groups (SHG) in several places of Ganjam district and arranging bank loans for them under Odisha Rural Livelihood Mission (ORLM), police said today.

Sixty-year old Mangulu Behera, a former bank officer, was arrested by Gopalpur police on Wednesday after the project director, District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Ganjam clarified that the administration had not entrusted any NGO to collect money for forming SHGs.

Behera, head of Nari Shakti Mahila Sanghathana (NSMS), had allegedly collected Rs 7,000 from each SHG in the district. His organisation had formed over 890 SHGs in the district after he opened an office at Ambapua on April 2015.

He illegally collected around Rs 63 lakh from the SHGs during the period, Berhampur superintendent of police Sarthak Sarangi.

Around 60 such registration applications were pending in different blocks of the district for registration.

After receiving complaints, police had sought clarification from the DRDA project director as to whether they engaged any NGO for collecting money and for process registration.

The police raided his office at Ambapua, on the outskirt of the town and seized several documents, the police said.

Behera hails from Bramhagiri area in Puri district.

His organisation was registered under the society Act and based at Bramhagiri, Berhampur sub divisional police officer Sadara Harihar Pani said.