Mysuru: Food and Civil Supplies Minister B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan yesterday said that the Department’s Senior Deputy Director in Mysuru, Dr. K. Rameshwarappa has been suspended from service following the theft of 1,165 quintals of rice, 36 quintals of tur dal and 196 quintals of wheat from the Nanjangud godown.
Addressing reporters in Bengaluru, Khan said the Department has also filed FIRs against depot manager Mylaraiah and computer operator Basavaraju in this regard.
It may be recalled here that over 1,165 quintals of rice and 36 quintals of tur dal and 196 quintals of wheat went missing from a godown in APMC yard at Nanjangud. Marulasidda Aaradhya, Shivashankarappa and Raghavendra from Karnataka State Food and Civil Supplies Corporation at Bengaluru, visited the godown on July 13 for verification of stocks, when to their astonishment, found a huge stock of food grains missing after the stocks were verified.
Even as the misappropriation of Anna Bhagya food grains was unearthed by the officials, the godown manager Mylaraiah went absconding. As Mylaraiah could not be traced, Dr. Rameshwarappa, who visited the godown the next day, lodged a complaint with Nanjangud Town Police Station on the alleged misappropriation of food grains.
The suspension order stated that Rameshwarappa did not furnish the details about the missing food grains and has derelicted his duties, leading to suspicion. The order observed that Rameshwarappa visited the godown only the next day (July 14) despite raid by senior Karnataka State Food and Civil Supplies Corporation officials and lodged the compliant.
The suspension order also mentions that as a senior officer of the Department, Rameshwarappa should have information about the food grain stocks of Anna Bhagya scheme and he had kept quiet even as officials from Bengaluru had raided the godown.
Reacting on his suspension, Rameshwarappa told reporters that he had rushed to the spot, conducted an inquiry, seized the ledger and lodged a complaint with the Nanjangud police, before suspending the manager and supervisor over the missing food grain.
“I am shocked over the suspension order accusing me of not furnishing information. On that day, I had rushed from the funeral of a retired IAS officer to the godown to verify the stock and registered a case at Nanjangud Police Station when I realised that food grain bags were missing,” he said.
“I have registered over 950 cases have been registered against dealers, black marketers, millers and transporters in the past 21 years without yielding to any pressure.
The godown manger has taken sides with the officers who raided the godown and the whole operation is a conspiracy of a few officials of the department to tarnish my image,” he claimed.