Two government officials in Kerala were arrested on Friday in Wayanad district for the embezzlement of relief materials, the police said.
A senior police official told IANS that the arrests were made based on a complaint received from another senior government official. According to the complaint, the two accused – S. Thomas and M.P. Dinesh – were stopped by residents at a relief camp Panamaram village while they were loading the relief materials into a vehicle.
Thomas and Dinesh claimed that they were moving the materials to another camp in the village. The suspecting residents called the police and upon interrogation, it was found that they were lying.
A similar incident was also reported from Chengannur, where the accused was a temporary government official.
Relief material has been coming into Kerala from various parts of the country after heavy monsoons caused floods that killed around 370 people and displaced lakhs.
A Chief Minister’s Relief Fund has been set up to collect funds and relief material for the flood-affected people of Kerala
According to CM Pinarayi Vijayan, around 10 lakh people have lost their homes and are living in relief centres set up across the state. The number of relief camps as on Wednesday was 3,314, and were down to 2,774 on Thursday. The number of families in relief camps on Wednesday was 3,27,280 while on Thursday they stood at 2,78,781.
With the floods receding, the operations are currently focused on rehabilitation of those displaced.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday paid a visit to some of the relief camps.
The government is mulling loans for refurbishing the houses that were damaged in the floods. The CM, while addressing the media on Thursday, informed that these loans, which can go up to ₹1 lakh, will be provided on an interest-free basis to the female head of the family and the interest will be borne by the government.
(With inputs from IANS)