JORHAT, Sept 12 - Jautha Sangrami Mancha – a platform of seven organisations of different ethnic groups which also includes a few students’ bodies – has given a 12-hour Jorhat district bandh call on September 20 from 5am to protest State government’s “attempt to shield” a senior IAS bureaucrat, now posted at the Chief Minister’s office. The bureaucrat is allegedly involved in misappropriation of funds from the District Untied Fund of Jorhat. The Mancha alleges that the IAS officer, who is a former Deputy Commissioner of Jorhat and now posted as secretary in the Chief Minister’s office, Solanki Vishal Vasant, was involved in the scam as during his tenure the money from the District Untied Fund was withdrawn fraudulently several times by a group of people.
The Mancha comprises Jorhat district units of All Tai Ahom Students’ Union, Assam Tea Tribes’ Students’ Association, Sutiya Yuba Sanmilan, Assam Koch Rajbongshi Students’ Union, All Assam Scheduled Caste Students’ Union, Gana Adhikar Sangram Samiti and Upper Assam Muslim Kalyan Parishad.
Addressing mediapersons here today, Rajib Gogoi, president of Jorhat district unit of the All Tai Ahom Students’ Union and a member of the Mancha, alleged that the government was trying to “protect” Solanki with no action being initiated against him despite serious allegations of financial anomalies committed by him.
Gogoi said that in July this year, the government by an order issued through ADGP (Law and Order) M Agarwal transferred five cases of alleged large-scale financial anomalies to the tune of several crores rupees (released from the Untied Fund), which were registered in the Jorhat Police Station during the past two years, to the CID with an aim to ‘dilute’ the investigation process.
He said that among the five cases handed over to the CID, in one case (case no. 1371/17) registered under Sections 420,406, 409 and 34 of the IPC in June this year, Solanki, was named as an accused.
Gogoi took a dig at the Sonowal-led government that made tall claims of adopting zero tolerance against corruption, for turning a blind eye to the matter.
Secretary of Gana Adhikar Sangram Samiti – a workers’ organisation – Sanjay Krishna Tanti, who is another member of the Mancha, said the decision to give a district bandh call on September 20 has been taken after a citizens’ meeting organised by the Mancha on August 4 here had set a 10-day deadline to the government to take action against Solanki threatening an agitational programme otherwise.
Tanti lambasted the State government for trying to protect the former Jorhat DC, whom he alleged should have intervened when money from District Untied Fund was fraudulently withdrawn by violating all financial rules of the government by a group consisting of contractors and officials in the DC’s office.
Alleging that a CAG report too has indicted Solanki, Tanti said on September 15 effigies of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be burnt here and on September 18 a torch rally will be taken out here in the evening to demand action against the bureaucrat.