About 2,500 Jan Dhan accounts in a Bank of Baroda branch in Moradabad were credited with ₹10,700 each, leading to a flutter of excitement in the industrial town in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.
Senior district officials later claimed that the money that had been deposited in the accounts, opened as part of the central government’s financial inclusion drive, were towards routine scholarship payments by the Union minority affairs ministry. As hundreds of people tried to quickly withdraw the money, the branch in the Bhojupur neighbourhood of Moradabad stopped transactions and an enquiry was ordered.
Moradabad district magistrate Rakesh Singh said that he ordered a detailed enquiry, sent the election commission’s flying squad to the branch and also alerted the minority department officials of the district.
“As per available reports, it’s a case of transfer of scholarship amounts to beneficiaries by the Union minority affairs ministry. The money was sent through the direct benefit transfer (DBT) mode, so it reached the bank accounts directly,” Singh told HT. “But since it’s election time, there was some confusion,” he said, adding reports that non-Muslim account holders had also received money were baseless.
Officials also suspect foul play by a local business correspondent, a retail agent engaged by banks for providing banking services.The business correspondent may have created some fake jan dhan accounts, officials said.
Singh said a probe is on against the Banking Correspondent.
“We are in touch with officials of minorities affairs department to find out under which head the transactions have been made. The accounts have been blocked until the matter is resolved,” Hema Adhikari, the branch manager of Bank of Baroda, said.