ITANAGAR, Aug 9: Casting apprehension over the investigation being carried out by the Special Investigation Cell (SIC) into the Trans-Arunachal Highway (TAH) scam, the Arunachal Indigenous Tribes Forum (AITF) on Thursday demanded that the government hand over the case to the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI).
Addressing a press conference here today, AITF chairman Bengia Tolum claimed that the SIC would not be able to take action against political bosses if involvement of any political leaders in the scam was exposed during investigation.
He also accused the SIC of being half-hearted in its actions.
“The Trans-Arunachal Highway scam is broad daylight loot by specific people in front of the ownersof the assets,” Tolum said.
“Why has an engineer who measured the TAH alignment and misled the district administration not been arrested so far?” questioned the AITF chief, and accused the investigating authority of showing “special mercy to some officers who are being protected by local leaders.”
The AITF has submitted a memorandum to the governor, demanding instituting of a CBI inquiry under the supervision of a sitting high court judge; immediate construction of the TAH road from Potin to Pangin; and completing all procedural formalities and dispensing the payment of land compensation to the actual land affected people.
The parental organisation also demanded that the state government publish a white paper on the TAH,containing the status of the project across the state. It also claimed that more than Rs 180 crore had been parked in the Lower Subansiri DC’s account for several years, and said the interest amount should be accounted for and investigated properly.
Tolum also castigated legislators Likha Saaya, Tamar Murtem and Tage Taki for issuing clarifications on the TAH compensation issue.
“If they are clean, why don’t they lead us from the front on the TAH issue? Why are they maintaining silence?” Tolum asked.
Commenting on the SSA teachers’ agitation, Tolum urged the government to draw a strategic action plan to absorb trained teachers in service. He appealed to the government to find a mechanism to end the impasse.
On the mysterious death of Tage Dule, who was found lying near the railway tracks in Uttar Pradesh, the AITF stated that the government should take up the matter at the highest level with the railways ministry and the UP government.
“Such incidents occurring repeatedly, that too in Arunachal Express, is unfortunate,” said AITF member PG Tago.
Describing the incident as a “radical attack,” the AITF called for enactment of an anti-racism law in the country.
It also said that, though the authority made tall claims in newspapers, no help and assistance was provided to the aggrieved family during the retrieval of the deceased’s body.