Former Meghalaya CM faces corruption charges

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Shillong, Apr 13 (UNI) Former Meghalaya Chief Minister F A Khonglam has been accused of siphoning several lakhs of rupees through Special Rural Works Programme (SRWP).

Sources said here today that about 16 villages have filed an FIR against a Block Development Officer and Dr Khonglam's agent.

The issue came to light after Sohra People's Movement (SPM), an NGO, filed a Right to Information recently, seeking details on implementation of the Centrally-sponsored scheme in Sohra Assembly constituency.

''We have filed an FIR against former Shella-Bholaganj BDO Israel Ingti and Dr Khonglam's agent P Mawkhiew,'' PMS convener Eligius Sawian said.

According to the RTI findings, Mr Sawian alleged that the former chief minister, who failed to retain Sohra Assembly seat, had embezzled SRWP funds of not less than Rs one crore.

The amount was withdrawn during 2000-03 in the names of beneficiaries, but most didn't receive the financial assistant, he said ''Mr Ingti had withdrawn Rs 20 lakh, while Mr Mawkhiew withdrew Rs 80 lakh from SWRP scheme in the names of bogus beneficiaries after receiving authorisation certificate from Dr Khonglam,'' the SPM leader alleged.

Dr Khonglam, who represented Sohra constituency, for three consecutive terms, was also facing corruption charge from the 11 traditional village heads.

The village heads have decided to jointly file an FIR seeking action against those involved in the ''scandal''.

However, Dr Khonglam has rubbished the allegation and termed it as ''baseless and without truth'' adding that the RTI was being ''misused'' by his political opponents.

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