Assam Rifles orders probe into ‘cash-for-contract scam’

SHILLONG: A day after a sting operation by Tehelka caught Assam Rifles officials taking bribes, the Directorate General of the country’s oldest para-military force ordered a departmental inquiry into the alleged cash-for-contract scam exposed by the Delhi-based magazine.
However, Tehelka Managing Editor, Mathew Samuel called for an independent inquiry into the matter arguing that the force which is already tainted cannot carry out the investigation on its own.
Earlier, in a statement issued here on Friday, Assam Rifles PRO Sunil Rawat said that the allegations were made at the behest of one CC Mathew, a former soldier of the Assam Rifles, who served in the force for 20 years before taking premature retirement in 2004 and started working as a civil contractor.
Rawat said that Mathew undertook numerous construction contracts over the years for Assam Rifles but repeatedly failed to perform and meet the deadlines, for which penalties were also levied on him as per terms of contract.
According to Rawat, it was evident that the contractor could not prosper in his new profession, and out of frustration approached the media with a motivated intent to malign the image of the force.
Meanwhile, Mathew Samuel said that  Tehelka was willing to hand over the tapes of sting operations to any high level inquiry committee.
“If the Assam Riles vigilance department is under DG Assam Rifles, how can an inquiry be initiated by the force whose officers are shown taking bribes,” Samuel asked.
“The DG has to go or face court martial as in our tapes, the officers are taking money for DG and senior officers and this is happening under the very nose of the DG,” Samuel added.

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