BARPETA, April 22 � Sensation prevails in Barpeta district over the recovery of a huge quantity of knit yarn from the possession of a Congress leader in the district. The incident has also put a big question mark on the role of some officers of the Handloom and Textile Department of the state as well as transparency of the special schemes introduced by the Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
According to reports available, a mini truck with registration number AS 01 C 9382 loaded with knit yarn was intercepted on the Sarthebari-Nalbari Road by some conscious people on suspicion of foul play. The truck which was heading towards Nalbari turned back to Sarthebari Bazar and was handed over to the Sarthebari Police Station. Police took the truck into their possession.
The driver of the truck revealed that the entire material was loaded in the residence of Rita Deka, a resident of Palla Satra under Sarthebari Police Station in Barpeta district and a member of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee. He said that he was directed to take the material to Nalbari by one Dulal Deka who also hired his vehicle. The driver further divulged that there was an equal amount of knit yarn in the residence of Rita Deka which was meant to be carried in the second trip after unloading the first one.
The police team headed by Ratneswar Sarma, OC, Sarthebari Police Station arrived at the residence of the accused and managed to recover some bundles of knit yarn there. Talking to this correspondent, Sarma said that he has received a formal complaint from Chittranjan Deka and Ramen Deka alleging illegal stock of knit yarn by one Rita Deka and he has began investigation immediately.
People here alleged that this huge quantity of knit yarn was meant for distribution to the poor weavers of Sarukshetri Development Block area under Mukhya Mantrir Bayan Jyoti Yojana. But the Congress leader kept it in her possession to take political mileage during the last Assembly election. Rita Deka sought congress nomination to contest the assembly election but the party rejected her application and nominated Dr Tara Prasad Das for Sarukshetri. It was also alleged that as she was deprived of the nomination and could not distribute the materials to the voters she planned to sale it in Nalbari through some of her trusted followers.
While contacted Kalyan Barman, Block Development Officer, Sarukshetri development block and the chaiman of the selection board under the special scheme of the Chief Minister said that he was totally ignorant about the happening. He informed that the knit yarn meant for distribution is provided by the Handloom and Textile Department to the committee. But the department did not seek him during hand over of the materials. He was even unable to disclose the number of beneficiaries and the amount of knit yarn allotted under his block.
From investigation, it was clear that though the knit yarn was to be distributed by the Handloom and Textiles Department after receiving the list of beneficiaries from the selection committee, they handed the materials over to some unscrupulous politicians either for fear or obligation and the later used the materials completely for political gain deviating from the objectives of the scheme. Local people here have demanded thorough inquiry into the whole episode and proper punishment to the guilty irrespective of their political affiliatin or official position.