Gautam Roy, Bikash Baruah owe an explation to the people of Assam
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, July 9: As the Assam Cricket Association (ACA) continues to be dogged by charges of corruption and irregularity, heat mounted on its general secretary Bikash Baruah after a governing body member lodged a police complaint against him, charging him with fincial irregularity.
Tapan Sarma was prompted to lodge the case at Fatasil Ambari police station after he found a “confidential document” relating to accounts to the tune of Rs 240 crore with an ACA office bearer Pradeep Buragohain during the governing body meeting of the ACA on Wednesday.
“It is supposed to be a confidential document. How can an office bearer have possession of such a document? We suspect there is a conspiracy to tamper with the evidence relating to fincial irregularities in the association,” Sarma, who med both Bikash Baruah and Pradeep Buragohain in his FIR, said.
The development came a day after a group of former cricketers staged a demonstration at the under-construction Barsapara Stadium Complex, protesting the alleged irregularities in the association and demanding removal of Baruah who has been in the post for the last fifteen years.
The association is also under the scanner over inordite delay in construction of the Barsapara Stadium.
When the construction started nine years back, ACA president and former minister Gautam Roy had claimed that it would be completed in three years. However, only about 70 per cent of the work has been completed so far. Sources said that construction of stadiums in places like Ranchi, Jharkhand, Hyderabad and Dharmasala had commenced much later, but have been completed long ago and even matches hosted there.
It is learnt that the construction of the cricket stadium at Jharkhand commenced much later, but it was completed in 2012, after which it hosted matches in 2013.
“Interestingly, no one is revealing the actual amount sanctioned for the Barsapara Stadium. Sometimes they say it is Rs 150 crore…sometimes Rs 300 crore. This itself is fishy,” says former cricketer Sajjad Zaheer Hussain, adding that the delay has also resulted in cost over-runs.
A few days back, a civil court stayed the elections of the ACA on the ground that the association’s governing body has not passed the accounts pertaining to the last three years. Piece-meal accounts have been submitted, but none of them have been passed by the annual general meeting.
The ACA secretary had also courted controversy a few years back after he allegedly published a forged IPL photograph – featuring him with Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone – in a bid to gain publicity.