A woman at Gonda's education department office claimed her documents were being used for fraud
An Uttar Pradesh school teacher was employed by at least nine schools allegedly without taking a single class, in a bizarre case that once again highlights corruption in the state's education system.
Five police cases have been filed against the teacher, whose name on the records is "Anamika Shukla". But in a twist in the case, it appears that the original Anamika Shukla is unemployed and six other teachers received the salary using her name, which, incidentally, translates to "nameless".
Last week, local newspapers reported that documents in the name of "Anamika Shukla" were used in at least 25 Kasturba Gandhi Vidyalayas or state-run girls' schools. These reports alleged that a cumulative salary of Rs 1 crore was drawn in the name of "Anamika Shukla" in the last 13 months from these 25 schools.
Adding to the mystery, a woman by the name turned up at an education department office in Uttar Pradesh's Gonda town this evening, claiming she was the "real Anamika Shukla" and that her documents were being used for fraud without her knowledge .
"In 2017, I did apply for the post of science teacher in government schools in five different UP districts but I was never employed," Ms Shukla said in a written statement.
"I found out from media reports that many people are working in different government schools using my documents. So I thought I should come here and present myself before government officials," Ms Shukla told the media.
An education official promptly declared that she is the original Anamika Shukla. "It seems her documents have been misused and she was not even aware of it," said Indrajit Prajapati.
The UP government admitted that fraud had taken place but claimed newspaper reports were greatly exaggerated. "The first complaint against this teacher called Anamika Shukla was registered in western UP's Baghpat after some irregularities were detected by officials in the education department there. We then ordered a comprehensive investigation," Satish Dwivedi, Uttar Pradesh's Basic Education minister, told reporters today.
The investigation revealed that the same documents in the name of "Anamika Shukla" were used for full-time jobs as science teacher in nine schools in different districts.
"This person joined six of these schools and we paid a total of Rs 12,24,000 as salary in this name in the last year," Mr Dwivedi said.
On Saturday , a school teacher who had used documents in the name of "Anamika Shukla" to get employment at a school in UP's Kasganj district was arrested but investigations revealed her real name was Priya and that she had paid over Rs 1 lakh to a tout last year for the job.
"A man named Raj got me the job," the teacher told reporters after her arrest.
This woman was caught after one school in Kasganj decided to track down the perpetually MIA science teacher who was being paid a salary.
"She was a science teacher at a Kasturba Gandhi residential school for girls in our district. We started making enquiries after orders to investigate this person's credentials. In this process, we issued a notice to this 'Anamika Shukla' a few days ago. This woman then sent a man with a resignation letter to my office," said Anjali Agarwal, an education officer at Kasganj.
"The officer told the police and the man was traced to a car parked nearby. A woman sitting in the car said she was Anamika Shukla. The police arrested her," Ms Agarwal said.