[ Nellie N Manpoong ]
ITANAGAR, Sep 18: After over two years of being swindled off of Rs 4 lakhs by officials from the Chowkham branch of the India Post in Namsai district, retired senior veterinary officer Dr RK Vershney is still running from pillar to post to retrieve the amount, and is set to take legal aid.
Earlier, in 2015, then Chowkham Sub-Post Office SPM Ranjana Singh and her husband Balraj Singh, who was then PA of the Namsai sub-post office, had allegedly duped several customers.
In August 2017, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had also submitted a report citing the names of Ranjana Singh and one Padam Prasad Sharma of the Chowkham branch as forging documents and signatures of Dr Vershney.
While 12 customers had filed written complaints against the officials, Dr Vershney
continues to pursue the matter ever since he first made an official complaint on 15 July, 2016.
Speaking to this daily, Dr Vershney said he first made an online complaint to the Arunachal Pradesh division of the postal service directorate. The complaint then went to India Post, and then to the chief post master general (CPMG) in Shillong.
Following the CBI findings, on 17 October, 2017, the CPMG in Shillong had assured Dr Vershney that it was the prime duty of the postal department to restore his money.
Accordingly, Dr Verhsney submitted the required documents and was given receipt copies, with the assurance that they would be forwarded with orders to the Arunachal division to restore his money. However, the CPMG had also said that the process might take some time.
“I came back from Shillong on his goodwill, and after six months I spoke to the director of postal service (DPS) headquartered in Shillong, who was looking after the Arunachal division then, and informed that I had not received the money yet. He then communicated this to some officials, but there has been no action taken,” Dr Vershney said.
When he contacted the DPS again, he was informed that the restoration was being delayed as the case had been handed over to the CBI.
However, when he visited the CPMG’s vigilance branch, he was told that the CBI inquiry and the restoration of the money are separate things.
Dr Vershney was advised to pursue the matter as it is mandatory for the postal department to restore the money.
Most recently, Dr Vershney visited the Arunachal division here in Itanagar and contacted the newly-appointed DPS on 28 July.
Dr Vershney said the DPS in Itanagar claimed to be unaware of the case and assured to look into it. However, when he contacted the DPS office last week for an update, the officer was out of town on an investigation, and the staff asked Dr Vershney to contact again on Monday (17 September).
When the office was contacted on Monday, Dr Vershney was informed that the DPS has gone on leave.
“The CPMG said that I should go to the Arunachal division and cooperate with them. Whenever I approach someone personally or over the phone, they always have some reason to avoid the issue,” he rued.
He also informed that he sought a copy of the order by the CPMG to restore the money, but there has been response on it either.
“I have served in Arunachal for nearly 35 years, and all my pension money is being spent on running from one office to another. But I don’t want other people who were duped to get discouraged just because it is taking a toll on me. This is my personal hard-earned money. It is their hard-earned money, and they should fight for it,” Dr Vershney said.
Ranjana Singh was posted to Sunpura during the fiasco, and has been under suspension after the CBI came out with its report.
This daily’s attempts to contact the DsPS in Shillong and Itanagar were unsuccessful.