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GNLA claims responsibility

BDO kidnap case:  Politicians’ hand in fund mismanagement surfaces

TURA: In a strange twist to the abduction case of the Chokpot Block Development Officer, Jude Rangku T Sangma, the banned GNLA has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping while stating that the action was in response to recent statements, allegedly attributed to the officer, relating to misappropriation of fund from the block.
The rebel group has claimed that the officer had blamed them and politicians for non-implementation of projects and withdrawal of funds.
“On May 23rd when the Chief Minister visited Chokpot block and asked what happened to Rs 40 crore sanctioned for the black topping of interior roads, the BDO said that all the money had been taken away by the GNLA. Till date we have not taken any money from the block or the BDO,” claimed Chokpot commander Hedio Ch Momin, alias Karak, in a statement to the media on Wednesday, a day after the officer was kidnapped while travelling from Chokpot to Tura.
The outfit further claimed that when questions had been raised about non-utilization of funds meant for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) the blame had been put on a minister who diverted the money for the recent Chokpot by-election.
Congress candidate won the election held in June this year.
“As many as 248 villages were part of the MGNREGS project and money amounting to Rs 20 crore for menial work undertaken for 50-60 work days should have been paid but the officer says that the entire amount was taken by a minister for the by-election,” alleged the GNLA leader.
He added that there was no response from the BDO when questions had been raised by members of the public in regards to the Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) projects of 2013-2014 amounting to one crore fifteen lakh ten thousand rupees.
The militant group announced that the officer was now in their custody in a camp where he would be questioned for his statements and allegations.
Despite the allegations by the rebels, many are skeptic about their statement given that the said officer was known in government circles to be an upright officer when it came to financial dealings.
In view of the (threat perception from militants, the police had provided armed security guards to BDO Jude Rangku Sangma but the officer had reportedly turned them down since it hampered his day to day interaction with villagers in his line of work.
Plea for safe release: The officers and employees of South Garo Hills district administration have condemned the abduction of Jude Rangku T Sangma and appealed for his safe and unconditional release at the earliest.
“He is an officer who is known for his integrity and ability to get things done under extreme difficult circumstances,” stated the district administration and government employees of South Garo Hills in a joint statement on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Mindikgre regional unit of the Garo Students’ Union have appealed to the abductors to release the BDO.

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