Victims demand minister's ouster for impartial inquiry into scam

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Itanagar, Nov 01 (UNI) Eight people in a writ petition alleging misappropriation of crores of rupees in Mebo sub-division in Arunachal's East Siang district have demanded removal of state Public Health Engineering Minister Lombo Tayeng to facilitate an impartial inquiry into the flood relief scam, renewed at the behest of the Gauhati High Court. The Itanagar Bench of the Gauhati High Court on August 24 last had ordered the state government to pay the flood victims their respective balance amount sanctioned against the losses incurred during the flood during June 1997 to January 1999. The Court had also directed the government to resume proceedings against the erring officials and conclude it within six months. It had made it clear that the inquiry would start from the stage where it was last abandoned. It also authorised the government to recover the balance of the sanctioned amount from the erring officials. In a letter to Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu yesterday, all the petitioners pointed out that the Rupees multi-crore scam occurred during the tenure of Lombo Tayeng as Relief and Rehabilitation Minister, who ironically is the local MLA of the Mebo assembly constituency.

The petitioners claimed that at the behest of the minister the money meant for flood victims were diverted in the name of enhancing the 'Party Fund'. The flood of 1997 had severely damaged 14 out of 15 villages in Mebo area. To mitigate the losses the state government sanctioned an amount of over Rs 2 crore, which was supposed to be disbursed among the 202 identified beneficiaries by the concerned Extra Assistant Commissioner (EAC) of Mebo sub-division. However, a uniform amount of Rs 2000 was disbursed to all. The petitioners alleged that the balance amount was released to few leaders of the area who were 'supposed' to deposit it in the party treasury. However, they raised doubts whether the money actually reached the party treasury or not.

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