Surat: Police arrested two owners of the government-funded ration shops in Gujarat’s Surat for stealing subsidized food grain with the help of a hacked software and unauthorized biometric Aadhaar data of beneficiaries. Babubhai Boriwal (53) and Sampatlal Shah (61), were arrested on Saturday and were sent to police custody for five days.
Police said that the two had been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including section 406, 409 (criminal breach of trust), 467, 468, 471 (forgery), as well as sections of the Information Technology Act and the Essential Commodities Act. Crime Branch Inspector BN Dave explained that the state government in April 2016 launched the Annapurna Yojana under the National Food Security Act-2013. Fair price shops, renamed as Pandit Deendayal grahak bhandar, were computerized so that subsidized food items reached the actual beneficiaries and that ration shops were supposed to use an application called E-FPS, provided by the government, with a databank of beneficiaries fed into it.
As part of this, fair price shop owners were given a username and password to access the biometric data bank of beneficiaries to create an electronic record of beneficiaries availing subsidized grains from their shops. The arrested men had used a duplicate software and obtained a data bank of beneficiaries from an unknown source.