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Opp attacks CM on NC Hills fund scam

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, June 16 � The recovery of Rs 13.45 crore from the residence of a relative of RH Khan, one of the accused in the financial scam in NC Hills Autonomous Council, gave the Opposition the ammunition to attack the Government and they alleged that by refusing to hand over the case to the CBI initially, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had tried to protect those involved.

Talking to media persons today, AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary said that the recovery of huge amounts of cash by the officials of the CBI proved the allegation of a massive financial scam in NC Hills to be correct. Khan was not a senior officer and as such huge amount of money was recovered from his possession, it is apparent that senior officers and public representatives were also involved in the scam, he added.

He said that the government handed over cases relating to only five departments to the CBI and demanded that the bureau be allowed to investigate into dealings in all the departments.

Patowary pointed out that when the scam was unearthed, Gogoi was initially reluctant to hand over the case to the CBI, which proved that he was trying to protect those involved. Only after the Opposition parties launched a movement and approached the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister, the State Government was forced to hand over the case to the CBI and the Central investigating agency could recover such huge amounts of money from one of the accused.

He said that Khan was given six PSOs, more than even the Deputy Commissioner of the district, which proved that the Government was giving him the security cover to enable him to carry out irregular financial transactions.

Patowary further demanded that the CBI should question the ministers allegedly involved in the scam.

The AGP president pointed out that though the Chief Minister has been making tall claims of development, the recent incident makes one wonder whether the development funds are going to the pockets or garages of some individuals. He also demanded that the Centre should launch a probe into utilization of the Central funds by the State Government. He further said that the roads constructed under the PMGSY were broken within a year and there should be a probe into the quality of the work.

The AGP president further dared the Chief Minister to keep his commitment of making the lists of properties of the Ministers public.

Meanwhile, the Assam Pradesh unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for his failure in checking rampant corruption in the State and investigation into all cases of financial irregularities at the earliest. The party also pressed for asset assessment of the ministers and carrying out search in their respective houses.

The BJP has congratulated the CBI for the recovery of a huge amount of money yesterday from the residence of a relative of RH Khan, and called upon the investigating agency to unearth all hidden truths without bowing before political pressure.

Addressing media persons here, State BJP president Ranjit Dutta said that the meaninglessness of the big claims of the Tarun Gogoi government regarding transparency and accountability in all matters was proved yesterday. �It is now for the people to judge the actual status of transparency and accountability of the Tarun Gogoi government,� he said.

Dutta, while slamming the Congress for patronizing corruption, said that the Congress has been traditionally extending a protective hand to the unscrupulous and Tarun Gogoi too has kept this tradition intact by initially refusing to hand over the investigation to CBI.

Dutta further said that apart from the scandal in NC Hills Autonomous Council, financial irregularities were noticed in other autonomous and development councils, too, and demanded CBI inquiry into the reported anomalies.

�Corruption is rampant in NRHM, PWD, and DRDA and we demand CBI inquire into the anomalies in these departments too,� insisted Dutta.

On the other hand, Dutta said that every common man in the State has the right to know how a government employee can amass crores of rupees.

The All Assam Students Union (AASU), in a statement here, also accused Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi of protecting those involved in corruption.

The AASU said that the recovery of crores of rupees in the residence of a relative of RH Khan, proved that huge amounts of public money was indeed siphoned off in the hill district.

The AASU pointed out that by refusing to order a CBI probe, Gogoi tried to protect those involved in the scam and only due to intervention of the Centre, he was forced to hand over the case to the CBI.

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