Barak Valley coal scam
GUWAHATI, July 15: Dispur has decided to hand over the Barak Valley coal scam to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for inquiry. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal directed the Chief Secretary and senior Home Department officials on Sunday to take necessary steps for handing over the inquiry to the CBI.
The arrest of coal smuggler Abdul Ahad and the seizure of his diary have blown the lid off syndicate raj in the State despite Dispur’s oft-repeated claim that coal syndicates in the State are passé. The recent arrest of Ahad, who has a number of criminal cases pending against him, has generated much heat in the State, especially in the corridors of power at Dispur. A page of the diary seized from Ahad has some notes stating as to what amount of money he pays to whom. The page also has a note which says that in December 2017 he had to pay Rs 3.51 crore to various people having high-profile designations like DIG, SPs of three districts, DCs, MLAs, among others.
Ahad hails from Sutarkandi in Karimganj district. The allegation against him is that he smuggles coal to Bangladesh from Meghalaya via the Barak Valley districts of Assam.
Maybe, gauging the gravity of the charges against Ahad and the revelations made from his diary, the Chief Minister has directed the CBI probe with a view to ensure an impartial inquiry into it.
In a statement issued to the media on Sunday, the Chief Minister said that as soon as the scam came into light after the arrest of Abdul Ahad, the State Government decided to hand over the case to the CBI to ensure an impartial and thorough investigation. He further said that the State Government has adopted zero tolerance attitude against corruption and put behind bars several corrupt government officials and other people.
Currently, the State CID has also been investigating into the coal syndicate scam. However, there are allegations that the investigators have not grilled Ahad as yet.