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Fire guts attendance logs of home guards in Noida amid probe in salary row

Press Trust of India  |  Noida (UP) 

A fire broke out at the Home Guards district commandant's office in Greater Noida, gutting attendance logs of all personnel since 2014, police said on Tuesday.

The fire, which took place late Monday night and was reported on Tuesday morning, comes at a time when an investigation is going on into the fraudulent withdrawal of salaries of scores of home guards in the district, officials said.

The fire was reported in the District Commandant Home Guard Office in Surajpur, Senior Superintendent of Police, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Vaibhav Krishna said.

"Station House Officer (SHO) Surajpur and Fire Safety Officer in Surajpur found that a big box having salary muster rolls (attendance logs) of home guards was in a burnt state with all the muster rolls inside it completely burnt down," Krishna said.

He said an FIR was being registered in the case and thorough investigation has been ordered.

A special investigation team at district level, under Superintendent of Police, Noida, Vineet Jaiswal, has been constituted to investigate the matter, he added.

"Prima facie it has come to light that this box had salary muster rolls of home guards deputed in different police stations and government offices in the district since 2014," Krishan said.

Earlier in July, it came to light that salaries of scores of home guards deployed here were withdrawn despite them showing up for work only half of the time during May and June, prompting officials to launch a probe into the matter.

About Rs 7.5 lakh were withdrawn in salaries of these home guards, who reported on duty for only 50 per cent of the times, while their attendance was marked for the entire period, officials said, but suspected the fraud could be in crores.

An FIR was lodged against Home Guard officials for fraud and forgery over fraudulent withdrawal of salaries of the force personnel on November 13.

The first information report (FIR) was lodged under Indian Penal Code sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), 420 (fraud), 467, 468 and 471 (all three related to forgery of documents).

Part of the auxiliary force, the home guards are not permanent employees and are recruited on a casual basis. They do not have any fixed monthly salary and are paid based on the number of days of duty.

There are about 375 home guards, including 10 women, deployed in Gautam Buddh Nagar. A maximum 50 of them are attached with Traffic Police, while 10-15 home guards are deployed at each of the 23 police stations across Noida and Greater Noida, according to the officials.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 19 2019. 15:40 IST