Block chairperson accused of faking caste

A public representative has managed to get elected to the block chairperson post by virtue of a fake caste certificate.

The present Sambalpur Sadar tehsildar, Gyanaranjan Bhanjdeo, has allegedly issued a caste certificate to one Snehalata Behera who went on to become block chairperson of Nuagaon in Nayagarh district in the recently held PRI polls. In the certificate she has been mentioned as a Scheduled Caste. The certificate was, however, signed by Bhanjdeo after a revenue inspector reportedly verified her papers.

The incident came to light after former sarpanch of Baradihi panchayat in Nuagaon block, Keshav Mahakud, called on the Sambalpur District Collector Mrinalini Darswal on Tuesday and requested her to cancel the caste certificate issued to Behera.

He alleged that Behera had furnished a forged certificate. Though she belonged to ‘Tanti’, a caste under Other Backward Caste (OBC) category, she had managed to get a Scheduled Caste certificate from the Sadar Tahasil citing herself ‘Patra Tanti’ in March 2011.

It is learnt that the caste of Behera has been mentioned as Tanti (OBC) in the land records of her ancestral property in village Nimpadar in Ganjam. Behera, who was working as an Asha volunteer in Burla here, originally hails from Nimpadar village under Jagannath Prasad police limits in Ganjam district. She is presently residing in Nuagaon following her marriage and apparently obtained the certificate while working here.

After being apprised of the incident, Sambalpur District Collector has directed Bhanjdeo to inquire as to which RI verified the documents before forwarding it to him.

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