A sarpanch in Odisha's Keonjhar district was arrested on the charge of embezzling around Rs 22 lakh of government funds sanctioned for various development projects, police said on Saturday.
Sarpanch of Pipilia Gram Panchayat, Upendra Nayak, was arrested on Friday following a complaint lodged by Ghatgaon Block authorities, the police said.
However, a former Panchayat Executive Officer (PEO), who has also been accused in this connection, is still absconding and efforts are on to trace him, they said.
Officials of the district rural development agency (DRDA) had enquired into alleged misappropriation of funds meant for development works, they said.
Around Rs 22 lakh was sanctioned in last financial year for implementation of various developmental projects in Pipilia Panchayat of the district.
It was alleged in the complaint that instead of utilising the funds, the sarpanch and the ex-PEO siphoned off the money and the matter was later brought to the notice of the Block authorities, who lodged a police complaint against the two accused, police said.
On the basis of the complaint, Nayak was arrested and further investigation into the matter is in progress, they said.
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