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Gujarat: Fruit seller held for ‘collecting funds for Ram temple’ using fake receipts

A fruit seller in Surat was arrested Thursday for allegedly collecting donations using fake receipts for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP)volunteers handed over the accused, Amit Pandey, to the police alleging that he had erected a tent at Chikuwadi area in Kapodara to collect funds using the fake receipts. Police registered a cheating case against Pandey, a resident of Kalyan Kutir society in Kapodara area and a native of Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh.

Police said that Kamlesh Kayda, VHP secretary of South Gujarat wing and incharge of fund collection, handed over Pandey to them. Kamlesh told police that some VHP workers informed him Thursday morning that VHP’s Surat wing had erected a tent to collect funds at Chikuwadi.

Kamlesh and two VHP workers went to the spot and found receipts without serial numbers. Pandey had allegedly printed fake receipts for Rs 10, Rs 100 and Rs 1,000.

Kapodara Police Inspector M K Gurjar said, “The accused had confessed that he had printed fake receipts from a local printer. We have also called the owner of the press which printed the receipts. Pandey sells fruits on a lorry at Kapodara area and has been staying in Surat since last few years.”

He added, “We have seized fake receipts and Rs 960 from Pandey, which he had collected from the public. It was the first day and within a few hours, he was caught by VHP volunteers.”

Kapodara police registered an offence against Pandey under IPC sections 460, 465, 468, 471, 473.

Kamlesh said that only VHP volunteers have been assigned the tasks of collecting funds.

“We have printed receipt books with serial numbers. The receipts with Pandey had no serial numbers. We don’t erect tents and collect funds from the public,” he added.

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