EC teams seize Rs 1 cr cash from vehicle in Longding

ITANAGAR, 5 Apr: The flying squad and the static surveillance team deployed by the Election Commission in Arunachal Pradesh seized Rs 1 crore cash from a vehicle in Longding district, a police officer said.

The vehicle, which belongs to one Harshvardhan Singh, executive director of a private construction company, was following the convoy of Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, who went to Longding to address a party’s election rally, he said.

“The vehicle was not part of the CM’s convoy but was following the motorcade,” Longding SP Dekio Gumja said. The income tax department was informed about the cash seizure, and it will investigate the case and subsequently action will be taken as per the standard operating procedure, Gumja said.

Initial investigation suggested that the cash was meant for labourers’ payment by the construction company, whose works are going on at three places in the region, including Sonari Medical College in Assam, brigade headquarters in Khonsa (Tirap) district, and Assam Police battalion in Sivasagar.

The company also executed many projects in Meghalaya, including the construction of the legislative assembly, among others.

The flying squads and static surveillance teams along with the police on Thursday also seized Rs 22.20 lakhs in the state capital and another Rs 16.10 lakhs in Seppa (E/Kameng) during vehicle checking, Toko Babu, officer on special duty to the state chief electoral officer said.

With Thursday’s seizure, the total cash seized in the state so far since the model code of conduct (MCC) came into force rose to over Rs 5.48 crore, while the cumulative figure of cash and the monetary value of other seized items, including liquor, drugs, precious metals and freebies, stood at over Rs 14.05 crore, he said.

Meanwhile, the state government on Thursday ordered that the issuance of import permits of packaged liquor, bulk spirit and export permits for packaged liquor shall remain suspended with immediate effect till the completion of the election process, or until further order, whichever is earlier.

However, liquor permits in respect of military and paramilitary units may continue to be issued, Chief Secretary Dharmendra said in an order.

Elections to the two Lok Sabha seats and 50 assembly constituencies will be held on 19 April.

The counting of votes for the assembly elections will be held on 2 June, while the counting of votes for the Lok Sabha elections will be held on 4 June. (PTI)