Lucknow: The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust in Ayodhya has been defrauded of Rs 6 lakh through two fake cheques. The fraud was detected during the verification process of a third fake cheque, after which trust secretary Champat Rai filed an FIR with the Ayodhya police.
No arrests have been made in this case yet.
Ayodhya’s circle officer Rajesh Kumar Rai told ThePrint that the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust holds account number 39200235062 in the Naya Ghat branch of the State Bank of India. Secretary Champat Rai and trustee Dr Anil Mishra are the two authorised signatories for this account.
On 1 September, Rs 2,50,000 were transferred to a Punjab National Bank account through cheque number 740799. A week later, on 8 September, cheque number 740800 was used to transfer Rs 3,50,000 to the same PNB account. The police say these cheque transfers were executed through forgery.
Following the same modus operandi, another cheque — number 740798 — for Rs 9,86,000 was presented to the Bank of Baroda on 9 September. But this time, because the amount was much bigger, the bank called Champat Rai for verification. Rai browsed through the chequebook, and found the cheque bearing that number was still in his possession, so he decided to file an FIR with the Kotwali police station Wednesday night.
What the police are doing
The police then registered a case under sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 of the IPC on the charges of cheating, dishonesty, forgery and theft of important documents.
“We are currently conducting preliminary investigation in this case. Till now it has been revealed that some money has been fraudulently withdrawn from the Ram Mandir Trust’s account by presenting two cheques in PNB. We are trying to find out who did this, and scrutinising CCTV footage of the bank branch,” CO Rajesh Kumar Rai said.
“We have a suspicion that this may be handiwork of a person who is quite close to the trust’s members, and might have had regular interactions with them. We are going through all possible angles of this forgery.”
Champat Rai, meanwhile, said he was confident the culprits will be nabbed soon, and that the trust will be on the lookout for similar attempts in the future.