184 held in graft cases in State since 2016

 GUWAHATI, Feb 12 – A total of 184 government officials, contractors and other functionaries (panchayat members) have been arrested in connection with various corruption charges since the new BJP government came to power in the State (May 24, 2016).The total number of cases filed is 403. Most of the arrested are in jail, while five have been absconding. On former the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) chairman Rakesh Paul, who is the main accused in the APSC cash-for-job scam, the President’s accent has been received for initiating further proceedings against him, including his dismissal.

The break-up is 143 officers, 11 contractors and 30 contractors.

This was revealed by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary while replying to a question from AGP legislator Phani Bhushan Choudhury in the Assembly today.

In connection with the APSC scam, 35 have been arrested.

Congress legislator and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Debabrata Saikia said that in order to be more effective and a deterrent to corruption at high places, the ministers named by the arrested should also be questioned and arrested if necessary.

Congress legislator Abdul Khaleque also demanded that the minister named by one arrested official of the Irrigation department resign. “Apparently, there has not been a single yardstick in the government’s fight against corruption. No action has been taken against ministers named by arrested officials,” he said.

Patowary said that it was not possible to arrest a minister merely on the allegations by an arrested official. “The naming of the minister has to be substantiated by the arrested official. There has to be some verification,” he said.

On the allegations of an illegal coal syndicate operating in the State, he said that the matter would be probed by the CID, to which Saikia demanded that the matter be investigated by the CBI as the Coal India Limited was a Central government undertaking.

Source : http://assamtribune.com