ITANAGAR, Aug 24: In yet another graft case, the Special Investigation Cell (SIC) of the state police has arrested EAC Olik Taring for his alleged involvement in illegal appointment of junior engineers, UDCs, LDCs, sanitary assistants and unskilled contingency staff in the Itanagar Municipal Council (IMC) during his time as the chief municipal executive officer (CMEO).
It is said that more than 200 posts were filled up illegally.
Sources in the police department informed that Taring was arrested from a hotel near Rajkot Road in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday. Subsequently, SIC SP Pranav Tayal confirmed Olik’s arrest, and informed that he was arrested along with one Nitish Kumar Mishra, who had allegedly helped Taring to abscond and had coordinated the training of the appointed staff at a private training institute, called Kamrup College of Vocational Training, in Guwahati (Assam).
A corruption case was registered on 10 August against Taring and a few other officials on the basis of a magisterial inquiry report.
At the state government’s directive, the capital complex district administration had instituted the magisterial inquiry into the appointments, based on a complaint lodged by the All Arunachal Unemployed Engineers’ Association (AAUEA), which alleged that the appointments were illegal and flouted all laid down procedures.
The police informed that Taring went absconding since the time a non-bailable case was registered against him by the SIC. He escaped arrest and fled from Itanagar to Guwahati. Sensing that an SIC team was looking for him, Taring then escaped to Kolkata by train, avoiding flights, and thereafter to New Delhi, said the police, adding that he later set off to Dehradun by taxi, but changed taxis on the way to Dehradun.
After his arrest, Taring was kept at the Kotwali police station in Dehradun, and the APP obtained a transit remand on Thursday, the police said. Taring was produced before the court in Dehradun, and underwent medical examination, during which he was declared fit.
On Thursday evening, Taring was brought to Delhi and kept at the Paharganj police station, before he was moved to Guwahati on a flight.
The SIC suspects that illegal appointments on such a scale could be an instance of a ‘cash for job’ scam – an angle it is investigating.
Reportedly, based on the complaint filed by the AAUEA, the state government had directed the administrator of the IMC to cancel the appointments. Accordingly, the capital complex DC, who is also the IMC administrator, issued a cancellation order on 27 July, which was published in the local dailies.
However, despite the cancellation order having been so advertised, the illegally appointed staffers were sent to Guwahati for training at the private training institute.