Itanagar, Jul 8 (UNI) The impasse over the alleged misappropriation of Rs 43 lakh under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in Arunachal Pradesh's Kurung Kumey district continued with several quarters demanding the dismissal of the state Education Minister.
The Kurung Kumey District Students' Union (AKKDSU) had also set a ''deadline'' for ''dropping'' state Education Minister Tatar Kipa.
The All Palin, Chambang, Yangte and Gangte Students' Union (APCYGSU) yesterday extended its unstinting support to the demand made by AKKDSU and urged the Chief Minister and Chief Secretary to dismiss the minister as well as the Kurung Kumey Deputy Director of School Education (DDSE), Additional District Education Officer (ADEO) and State Project Director for their alleged involvement in the misappropriation.
The union also called for cancellation of the trading licence of the Kolkata-based Sintex Industries Limited.
The union claimed that it had evidence that the minister and the officials, in connivance with Sintex Industries and contractors, had misused Rs 43 lakh from the public money meant for construction of school buildings in the district.
However, in a separate communique, the Kurung Kumey District Congress Seva Dal came out in support of the minister and accused the student unions of trying to malign his reputation and image.
''The minister is not at all involved in the allocation of funds, which are utilised by the officers of the concerned departments through contractors and local people of the area,'' the Seva Dal stated.
The Seva Dal claimed that based on the complaint of misuse of SSA funds, the state government had launched an investigation which led to the arrest of a person, suspension of an officer and recovery of a hefty sum from the contractor.
It squarely blamed the departmental officials, who, it claimed cleared the way for release of payment without verifying the completion certificates issued by the Member Secretary and Chairman of the Village Education Committee (VEC) of the concerned area.
Meanwhile, alarmed by the ongoing imbroglio, several Panchayat leaders were approaching the SSA and education authorities to remove the Sintex Industries Limited from their deal to implement SSA schemes in the state.
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