By Our Reporter
SHILLONG, Sep 27: The probe into the alleged rice ‘scam’ has been hamstrung by the non-cooperation of the Assam Police, which exposed it in the first place, Social Welfare Minister Paul Lyngdoh said on Wednesday.
The report of the one-man commission, which probed the alleged scam, made no mention of the statement of Assam’s Boko police which brought the matter to the fore in the early part of June 2021.
“A commission of inquiry serves a public notice calling upon people to depose before it. Those who complained there were irregularities did not appear before the commission, leaving us with no choice,” Social Welfare Minister Paul Lyngdoh said.
“Assam police did not cooperate… It was mentioned in the report,” he said.
Asked if any efforts were made at the higher level to get the Assam police statement as they were the ones who had cracked the alleged rice scam, he said: “That you will have to ask the ex-home minister but due process of the law was followed. The commission deserves credit for waiting for nine months before compiling the report.”
The panel, headed by Justice (retired) Mool Chand Garg of Madhya Pradesh High Court, was constituted after a complaint that rice allotted to Continental Milkose (India) Ltd for the Supplementary Nutrition Programme was found in a private warehouse in Boko and seized by the Assam Police.
“The commission also called upon the officials of Boko police station, Assam Police and when the personnel of Boko police station did not turn up before the commission for submitting their response in the matter, the commission requested the ‘higher officials of Assam Police’ to take appropriate steps and actions in the matter to enable the commission to submit the final report but according to the commission, it seemed that the Assam Police had never been interested in cooperating with the commission,” the report said.
“Therefore, the commission had no other option than to proceed with the matter without any support of the Assam Police. In such a situation, the commission would proceed to decide the point of reference ‘a’ with the help of submissions submitted by the state government and M/s Continental Milkose (India) Limited and the statement of CDPOS, DPOs, Public and Continental Milkose and the Government Officials,” the report said.
“It is relevant to mention here that the commission has not gone into the police investigation of the matter and it is not expressing any opinion on the pending investigation being carried out by the Assam Police,” it further said.