ITANAGAR, Jul 3: Former Lower Subansiri deputy commissioner Kemo Lollen, former DLRSO Bharat Lingu, and prominent businessman Likha Maj were arrested on Tuesday for their alleged involvement in gross irregularities in the matter of payment of compensation against the Joram-Koloriang Trans-Arunachal Highway (TAH) project in Lower Subansiri district.
Special Investigation Cell (SIC) SP Pranav Tayal informed this daily that the trio was produced before the special court in Yupia on Tuesday and are currently in police custody for seven days.
The trio has been arrested under Section 409/419/420/467/471/120 B IPC RW Section 13-1(c), 13-1(d) and 13-2 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
It was reported that Lollen was admitted in the RK Mission Hospital here in the morning. However, the SP said Lollen is currently fit and his medical needs, if required by him, would be looked into.
Rs 40 crore had been sanctioned for the construction of the Joram to Koloriang stretch of the TAH, funded by the Centre through its agency NHIDCL.
“The inquiry into allegations of irregularities revealed conspiracy and active connivance of these officers and individuals to misappropriate government money through irregularities in the assessment process, disbursement of excess compensation, and compensation to fake beneficiaries,” the SP later stated in a press release.
He said inquiry revealed that there were gross irregularities in assessing the compensation amount by officers of Lower Subansiri district administration, “particularly by Lollen and Lingu, in the case of Joram-Koloriang road as part of TAH.”
The detailed project report which was submitted by Lollen, based on which the funds were released by the GoI, and the compensation abstract based on which the funds were disbursed to the beneficiaries had “huge discrepancies, as also established by a fact-finding committee constituted by the government of Arunachal Pradesh,” Tayal said.
“The whole modus operandi of defrauding the government exchequer also involved inclusion of fake and nonexistent persons to whom compensation has been awarded,” the SP said.
The whole act of assessment and disbursement of compensation by the officers “has caused wrongful loss to the government and wrongful gain to individuals Likha Maj and others,” he said.
The SP said the process primarily accrued advantage to Likha Maj, “who has been one of the biggest beneficiaries in the case, thereby implying his collusion and active connivance with the officers of the district administration.”
A series of allegations and counter allegations regarding the land compensation issue had led the state government to constitute a high-level fact-finding committee, headed by Home Commissioner AC Verma, in early June to look into the irregularities.