AITF demands CBI probe into ‘TAH compensation scam’

AITF demands CBI probe into ‘TAH compensation scam’

Staff REPORTER

ITANAGAR, Aug 9: In the wake of the alleged Trans-Arunachal Highway compensation scam which rocked the state recently, the Arunachal Indigenous Tribes’ Forum (AITF) on Thursday demanded for immediate CBI investigation into the case.

Addressing a press conference at Arunachal Press Club here, AITF president Bengia Tolum informed while taking serious note of the TAH compensation scam a meeting of AITF involving representatives from all CBOs of the state was held on August 5 last to take their opinions on the issue.

He informed that during the meeting the members unanimously decided to voice against the scam as TAH is a very vital issue pertaining to the development of state and everybody needs good road.

Informing about submission of a memorandum to the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh on the issue, Tolum said that the AITF has sought for the Governor’s personal intervention to hand over the ‘TAH compensation scam’ case to CBI for thorough and impartial inquiry.

A similar memorandum was also submitted to the Chief Minister, he said.

“TAH compensation scam case involves many top level bureaucrats, technocrats and also politicians,” Tolum claimed, adding SIC or SIT cannot write or act against their bosses in the state and only CBI is the right agency to carry out the investigation.

Citing example of 41 people who had allegedly received compensation payment in crores against Potin to Bopi TAH stretch “without any structure”, Tolum said, it’s not a corruption, but “daylight loot of public money by certain people at the behest of their bosses”.

Claiming that Rs 189 crore was parked in the DC’s account for several years, AITF president questioned where the interest amount of that money has gone. “Government needs to clear weather the money has come back to state exchequer or it has been siphoned off by some individuals,” Tolum asserted, adding that the government is bound to tell the people about the Rs189 crore and the interest out of that money too.

Maintaining that AITF is not only voicing for Potin to Bopi TAH stretch but also for all stretches under TAH project undertaken across the state, Tolum demanded the state government to come up with a white paper on TAH projects in the state like how many highways are sanctioned for the state and what is the exact status of those projects with tentative date of completion.

While stating that SSA teachers’ issue is also one of the burning issues in the state, AITF president appealed the state govt to draw a plan about how to absorb those in-service SSA teachers in the department as regular govt employees.

“APTET or CTET cannot be applicable to those SSA teachers who are serving for the last 10 to 15 years,” Tolum opined and suggested the govt to draw an action plan and concrete policy for the in-service SSA teachers. In the present policy if all the SSA teachers have to be absorbed fully then it will take 76 years, he said and that the existing policy should be changed and SSA teachers should be trained batch-wise so that their services are regularized.

Adding that APTET or CTET shouldn’t be made compulsory for those teachers who are already in service for the last 10 to 15 years, AITF, however, said that APTET or CTET should only be mandatory for new recruits.

Meanwhile taking serious note of the ‘Gonda’ incident wherein a 35-year-old man from Arunachal Pradesh, Tage Dule, lost his life after being thrown out of a moving train, AITF president strongly appealed the people of rest of the country to treat the people of Arunachal Pradesh in particular and North Eastern states as the citizens of India.

“This type of behaviour towards the people of Northeastern states by mainland people sometimes alienate us from the patriotic feeling,” he lamented, adding that regarding patriotism people of North East are not less than any Indian.

The tragic incident happened in the intervening night of August 2 and 3 last when the deceased (Tage Dule) of Ziro along with his cousin was travelling by ‘Arunachal Express’ train from Delhi to Itanagar.

Dule sustained multiple injuries and was admitted to a local hospital in Gonda district and later referred to Shyama Prasad Upadhyay Civil Hospital at Lucknow, where he succumbed to his injuries on August 6.

AITF president appealed the state govt to get in touch with its Uttar Pradesh counterpart and get the case registered and inquire into the circumstances leading to tragic death of Dule.

AITF publicity secretary Pura Tago also appealed the state govt to move the UP govt for thorough investigation into the death of the Arunachali man. Claiming that the ground reality is totally different from what is shown in the media, Tago said that nothing has happened till now.

He claimed that body of Tage Dule also suffered burn injuries and strongly appealed the state govt to pursue the case with the UP govt and the Ministry of Railways.

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