Posing as her sister, woman got 23-yr stint in SMC and a VRS deal

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Following a complaint that a woman impersonating her elder sister worked as a sanitary worker with the Surat Municipal Corporation for 23 long years before she retired with full benefits two years ago, police here have arrested three people, including the two sisters.

On Friday night, police arrested Sushila Vaghela, her elder sister Daxa and Sushila's husband Ranchod Vaghela.

The case, which came to light after SMC officials recently received an anonymous letter about the fraud, dates back to 1987 when Daxa Ranchod Vaghela, a resident of Kajipura in Rampura area, received an interview letter from the health department of SMC on the basis of her job application during a recruitment drive by the civic body for sanitary workers.

This posed a problem for Daxa, who was about to get married and move to Mumbai.

Not willing to waste the opportunity, Sushila presented herself at the interview, posing as her elder sister. Already married, Sushila also took along her husband Ranchod Vaghela, who posed as her brother-in-law to become the guarantor.

The younger sister finally got the job and served in SMC's health department for 23 years before taking voluntary retirement in 2010. She was paid a lump sum of Rs 4.92 lakh and has since been receiving a monthly pension of around Rs 7,000.

However, a few months ago, Municipal Commissioner M K Das received an anonymous complaint stating how she had duped the civic body all along. Das forwarded the complaint to SMC's vigilance department, which carried out a probe and exposed the fraud.

Both sisters and Ranchod were arrested by police Friday night following a complaint by Narayan Parmar, an executive engineer of SMC in central zone.

"When Sushila got Rs 4.92 lakh after retirement from SMC, her elder sister demanded a part of it, but she refused. This may have led to the complaint. We are probing further to find out if others are involved," Chowk Bazaar police inspector L B Parmar said.

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