Union serves ultimatum to home commissioner
ITANAGAR, Jun 7: The land compensation issue of the Joram-Koloriang Trans-Arunachal Highway (TAH) project further escalated with at least 600 affected people surrendering their compensation amounts (in cheques) to the Lower Subansiri district administration on 5 June.
The project affected people took this step during a meeting of the affected people held at the inspection bungalow in Deed village, where they also resolved to demand “immediate re-verification and issue of fresh cheque” from the state government.
Speaking on the sideline of the meeting, Land Affected Justice Forum (20 KM-50 KM Joram-Koloriang Road) chairman Likha Tongum accused the district administration, particularly former DC Kemo Lollen, DLRSO Bharat Lingu, and JE Kabak Bath of “corrupt collusion” with certain individuals to dupe the affected people who actually deserved the compensation amounts.
According to Tongum, the former DC, the DLRSO, and the JE “pre-planned a nexus with a bogus committee (Land Affected People’s Forum or LAPF) and arranged for its youth members to resort to a bandh call to cancel the transfer order of the DC, so that they could together continue looting the compensation amounts.”
Elaborating his allegation, Tongum added, “LAPF members received their compensatory amounts in cheques on 30 April, and transferred the same to their respective accounts on 1 May. However, with the then DC Kemo Lollen transferred from the district on 2 May, the LAPF members resorted to a bandh call on 7 May, demanding Lollen’s retention, so they could continue the corrupt collusion of looting the compensation amounts of the genuinely affected people.”
Tongum also defended local legislator Likha Saaya, saying, “All false accusations against our MLA Likha Saaya of looting Rs 20 crore were spread by one Likha Maj, who himself has already looted near about Rs 13 crore from the compensation amounts meant for genuinely affected people.”
Further elaborating the accusations against Maj and seeking to “expose” the alleged corrupt nexus between the then Lower Subansiri DA and the LAPF, Land Affected Justice Forum (20 KM-50 KM Joram-Koloriang Road) secretary Toko Tei said, “He (Likha Maj) has so far extracted over Rs 12.58 crore from Neelam panchayat segment despite having no record of his name from the said area.”
To cement his allegation of corruption against Maj, the LAJP secretary said Maj extracted the compensation amounts by illegally including the names of his non-APST workers among those eligible for compensation.
“Maj gave his surname ‘Likha’ to his driver named Pappu and got a compensation amount of Rs 27.12 lakhs under the illegal name of Likha Pappu. He also did similar treachery with the names of his two managers, Ashok and Govind, who under the illegal names of Likha Ashok and Likha Govind got compensation amounts of Rs 31,52,400 and Rs 34, 29, 200, respectively,” said Tei.
A similar tale of being duped was echoed by one Neelam Tamin, who alleged that one never-before-heard name of Likha Rebia had been given a compensation amount of Rs 27 lakhs against his property while he (Tamin), “the actual owner,” was given only Rs 7 lakhs.
“I cannot be part of such mockery,” Tamin said, citing it as his reason for surrendering the compensation amount.
Meanwhile, the All Yachuli Students’ Union (AYSU) has served a five-day ultimatum to the home commissioner to meet their demands with regard to the Joram-Koloriang Trans-Arunachal Highway (TAH) land compensation issue.
Union serves ultimatum
Meanwhile, the All Yachuli Students’ Union (AYSU) has served a five-day ultimatum to the home commissioner to meet its demands with regard to the Joram-Koloriang Trans-Arunachal Highway (TAH) land compensation issue.
Addressing media persons at the press club here on Thursday, AYSU president Baath Tolu threatened to impose a bandh in Yachuli area if the fact-finding committee does not pay heed to the union’s demands.
The union is demanding “physical site verification and investigation into the disbursement of compensation to the leaders of the Land Affected People Forum (LAPF).”
Tolu claimed that Likha Maj, Neelam Obi and Toko Neer, “who do not have structures in the said stretch of the road,” were paid huge amounts of compensation money.
“The Yachuli ADC, under the guidance of the Lower Subansiri deputy commissioner, and representatives from the horticulture, agriculture, forests and fisheries departments should be given the responsibility of reimbursement of the compensation amounts,” Tolu said.
He also demanded immediate arrest of the chairman of the LAPF, and all those who received compensation illegally.
The union also demanded the arrest of the branch manager of the Central Bank of India in Ziro for “openly defying the land management secretary’s letter directing the branch manager to stop payment and freeze the amount.”
Tolu said all the cheques that have been issued should be cancelled and the compensation amount reimbursed. He also urged the state government to recommend a CBI inquiry into the controversial disbursement of the compensation amount for the Potin-Bopi stretch of the highway, “involving Rs 188 crore.”
The union also expressed displeasure at the fact-finding committee, saying that it is maintaining silence over the contentious issue despite acquiring all relevant documents from the Papum Pare DLRSO.
It is pertinent to add here that the claims of the Land Affected Justice Forum (20 KM-50 KM Joram-Koloriang Road) have already been brought to the notice of the state government through two separate representations in which the members also demanded recovery of the already distributed compensation amounts and the arrest of the branch manager of the Central Bank in Ziro, besides demanding that “the fact-finding committee take up the 20 km-50 km Joram-Koloriang road separately.”