SHILLONG, June 9: Social Welfare Minister Paul Lyngdoh denied the allegations that he is protecting his United Democratic Party colleague Kyrmen Shylla from the rice ‘scam’.
Lyngdoh said a panel spent about 10 months conducting the probe into the allegations but did not find any illegal or irregular activities pertaining to the Meghalaya-allotted rice found by the Assam police in a private storehouse at Boko near Guwahati.
Citing the inquiry report, he said the members of the commission visited the ICDS centres and recorded the statements of end-users, most of whom said they were happy with the products.
The state government ordered a probe into the alleged scam on July 29, 2021, almost two months after the Assam police seized 1 lakh bags of rice, each weighing 50 kg.
It was believed the rice bags provided by the Centre at subsidised rates landed up at the private storehouse for repackaging and sale to third parties.
The inquiry committee under Justice Mool Chand Garg, who retired from the Madhya Pradesh High Court, was asked to probe the matter of rice allotted to Milkose (India) Limited for the supplementary nutrition programme.
Border committee to visit WKH
The regional border committee of West Khasi Hills will visit the district in the next 10 days to hold a series of meetings with members of the traditional institutions and district authorities.
Lyngdoh is heading the regional committee of West Khasi Hills.
Asked how the regional committees will ensure that the second phase of border talks with Assam are peaceful, he said the issue is contentious but efforts would be made to avoid bad blood when the government tries to get the views of the local communities.
Lyngdoh said he has spoken to the home minister about strengthening patrolling in the border districts at the earliest.
“The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has proposed setting up a local police outpost at Langpih,” he said.
He said documents with the local population would strengthen the arguments of the people of the disputed Langpih being a part of Meghalaya.
‘Drug addicts behind vandalism’
Lyngdoh blamed drug addicts for vandalising and torching two-wheelers in Mawprem under his constituency.
He said the “stray incident” is linked to rising cases of drug addiction in the city.
“I have already taken up the matter with the police. A meeting will be held with the Dorbar Shnongs for examination of the case at the highest level,” he said.
He negated any political angle to the Mawprem incident.