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CBI probe sought into multi-crore Tripura scam

AGARTALA, Oct 16 – Piling heat on Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on the corruption issue, opposition Congress has demanded a CBI probe into the multi-crore rupees scam at Bishalgarh RD Block in Sipahijala district.

Opposition leader Sudip Roy Barman while speaking to media here on Wednesday alleged the Chief Minister had tried to cover up the corruption by holding the file for a considerable period.

In a note in the file, Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury had said, “An FIR should be lodged against the involved government staff i.e., Programme Officer (BDO) and other implementing officers of Laxmibil GP under Bishalgarh RD Block within seven days by the RD department for misappropriation of fund amounting to Rs 57.04 lakh.”

Placing the documentary evidence, Roy Barman said the then Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury recommended lodging of FIR against corrupt officials on May 19 but he was divested of the Finance portfolio.

“It indicates, veteran leader (Chowdhury) had to sacrifice the portfolio for speaking against corruption amounting to Rs 17 crore”, he alleged.

However, Chowdhury, who is holding charge of a relatively low profile Health and PWD, said, “I have handled so many files as a Minister for the past 17 years. I can’t exactly recall what I had written in the particular file. Besides, I wanted to leave the Finance portfolio on health ground.”

Referring to the raid conducted in the residence of Bimal Chakraborty, then BDO, on Monday, Barman said that it was nothing but an ‘eyewash’, adding that police could not arrest any of the accused persons involved in the scam even 26 days after lodging of FIR.

Roy Barman said that a government record stated that there were a total 106 implementing officers including Bimal Chakraborty. But, the incumbent BDO Subrata Das mentioned names of only 12 officials in the FIR.