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Former director quizzed

Social Welfare scam


GUWAHATI, Feb 14: After questioning three former ministers of previous Congress government in connection with the multi-crore Social Welfare scam, the Vigilance and Anti-corruption wing of Assam police today quizzed a former Director of the department.

The former Director of Social Welfare department, Ahmed Hussain, was questioned by sleuths on Tuesday, a day after they quizzed another former Director of the department, fija Ahmed, in connection with the scam.

Sources in the investigating branch of Assam police said four other former Directors will also be grilled in the coming days.

Earlier, former ministers and senior state Congress leaders Akon Bora, Gautam Roy and Ajanta Neog have been questioned by vigilance and anti-corruption sleuths.

Bora was incharge of Social Welfare department from September 2008 till January 2015 when he was dropped from the ministry. It is believed that more than Rs 2,000 crore was siphoned off in the entire scandal. Roy, a prominent Congress leader in Barak Valley, was in charge of the department from 2001 to 2005 and for about six months in 2015-16.

The scam was detected after the BJP-led coalition came to power in Assam in May last year, during a review of the performance of the department by Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal, who also holds the Social Welfare portfolio.

A section of department officials had been allegedly siphoning off Rs 150 crore a year from government coffers for the past 15 years in the me of food for 9 lakh mom-existent children. Besides, 390 fake Anganwadi centres were also fraudulently entered into the record books for siphoning off public money.

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Ankur Kalita