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Crime Patrol: Dr Amarnath, a homeopath by profession, exposed corruption in the NREGA (Episode 118 on 9th Jun 2012)

Part 1

The Inside Story

Homeopath Practitioner and Social Activist Shot at in Sonbhadra, Uttar Pradesh

Amar Nath Pandey, a social activist and homeopath practitioner, was shot in the head by unidentified miscreants in Robertsganj area, Sonebhadra district on Wednesday. Pandey had recently exposed the mafia's malpractice of allegedly grabbing funds from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) in Ghorawal block. He accused the MNREGS mafia of orchestrating the attack on him, but the empty shell recovered from the incident site was of .32 bore, making the episode sound suspicious. The allegations of Pandey have been taken seriously, and a probe into the matter is ongoing.

In the past, Pandey had been in the news for exposing corruption in the implementation of MNREGS schemes in the area and district-level corruption. He had been previously attacked when a jeep tried to run him over. The main suspect, the Block Development Officer, was suspended after Pandey's expose. His RTI query had revealed that local roads were being constructed under NREGA with a sanction of 24 rupees for each brick, even though they cost only four rupees each. Furthermore, NREGA money was being paid to job cards issued in the name of dead people.

In protest against the attack on Pandey, scores of social activists held a demonstration in Badauli Chawk area, demanding that the police arrest the assailants at the earliest. Pandey's bravery in speaking out against corruption has earned him the support of Sonbhadra residents. However, the lack of protection for whistleblowers means they have to fight the battle on many fronts.

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