Babubhai Boriwal (53) and Sampatlal Shah (61), owners of "Pandit Deendayal grahak bhandar" shops under Gujarat's Annapurna Yojana PDS, were arrested by the Crime Branch in Surat. They were using an illegal software that accessed leaked biometric data in order to acquire coupons in the name of different PDS beneficiaries to procure inexpensive rations through the PDS system for sale on the open market. News reports claim that the investigation and arrests were done after district officials had earlier filed complaints against eight other shops after receiving complaints about PDS supplies being procured in the name of beneficiaries without their knowledge. Crime Branch Inspector BN Dave said that fair price shops were supposed to use an application called E-FPS, provided by the government, with a databank of beneficiaries fed into it. He added, "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 subsidised grains from their shops." "The beneficiary had to provide his finger print, details of his ration card and UID (Aadhaar) numbers to match the data fed into the computer. This would generate a slip on the basis of which he was given subsidised ration every month," Dave said.The arrested duo, he said, used a duplicate software and obtained a data bank of beneficiaries from an unknown source. "They used this data bank to create an electronic record every month to show that beneficiaries had obtained subsidised…
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