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GHADC scam, Mookhep firing probe reports gathering dust

Govt says reports under examination

SHILLONG: The alleged dilly-dally on the part of the state government has deprived people from knowing the fate about two probe reports — one related to judicial inquiry into scam in GHADC and another on the Mookhep firing incident.
The state government is yet to make public the Mookhep firing probe report even after the pressure groups had set several deadlines to the government.
An official of the political department said on Sunday that the probe report was under the examination by the government before the holidays which began on December 23.
“The matter will be further examined once the office re-opens in the New Year’, the official added.
Earlier, the pressure groups including Jaintia National Council (JNC) and the Hynniewtrep Achik National Movement (HANM) had staged a protest march in Shillong on November 30. They had set a ten-day deadline for the government to make the report public which has already expired.
Two villagers were killed and several others injured on September 24 last year at Mookhep in East Jaintia Hills in police firing on a crowd protesting against the apathy of the government to address the concerns of the people following the NGT ban on coal mining.
Following this, a magisterial inquiry was carried out by East Jaintia Hills Additional Deputy Commissioner S.S. Syiemlieh.  The report submitted to the Government in November last year ,  however, was rejected by the government by saying that it raised more questions than answers.
Later, the government in March this year had asked senior government official DP Wahlang to further probe the incident and the inquiry report of Wahlang was submitted to the government two months ago.
Even before constituting the fresh inquiry by Wahlang, the pressure groups from Jaintia Hills and the Opposition NPP had been asking the  government to make the magisterial probe report public, but in vain.
Sources said that the government will release Wahlang report only after placing it before the cabinet which will also seek legal opinion before making it public.
While the affected people are eagerly waiting for the outcome of the Mookhep probe report for more than a year,  it was almost three year years ago ( December , 29, 2012) that the judicial inquiry commission headed by Justice (retd) PG Agarwal submitted its report to the government after probing the alleged financial irregularities and illegal appointments in the GHADC.
Though an amount of over Rs 23 lakh was spent on the judicial inquiry commission, the probe report is yet to see the light of the day.
When contacted, an official with GHADC said that the report is under the examination of Finance Department.
During the budget session in March this year, the NPP legislator James Sangma had raised the need to make the report public, but the reply by the District Council Affairs Minister HDR Lyngdoh was that the report was placed before the Cabinet on Nov 18, 2014, and that the Cabinet had directed the DCA Department to consult the Law and Finance departments on measures to be suggested to the District Councils to bring about financial reforms, financial discipline, and budget management, and to place the same again before the Cabinet.
However, the matter is yet to come to the cabinet after it was discussed a year ago.
It was during the tenure of then GHADC CEM  P K Sangma, who was with NCP that the alleged financial irregularities took place in GHADC in 2009-10.
Later, Sangma joined the Congress and unsuccessfully contested both the 2013 Assembly polls and the GHADC polls held on October 12 this year.
The scam in GHADC surfaced  after the then Deputy Commissioner of West Garo Hills Sanjay Goyal conducted an audit report and found out financial irregularities including illegal appointments in the Council in 2009-10.
Later on October 19, 2010 the state government notified the inquiry commission headed by Agarwal.
The terms of reference for the commission set by the government included the need to probe the facts and circumstances leading to the financial instability in GHADC and also to examine financial irregularities and misappropriation of funds committed by GHADC.
Examination of the administration of laws, rules and regulation made by GHADC with special reference to the alleged cancellation of appointment in respect of Laskars and village court staff without reasons and illegal appointment made in various departments of the GHADC was also part of the terms of reference.
Another task of the commission was to find out the ways and means of revamping the GHADC administration. Though the time frame to complete the probe report was three months, the commission completed the report only after two years.
Ironically, it was to expose the NCP-led Executive Committee led by P K Sangma that the Congress-led MUA government under the leadership of Mukul Sangma instituted the judicial inquiry commission, but, sources said that now the government is delaying the process of making the report public as those allegedly involved are now from the Congress.
The formation of the inquiry commission was also following the toppling games in GHADC after many NCP MDCs had switched their allegiance to the Congress.
Since April 2010, the government had imposed the administrator’s rule for six months each on two occasions in the GHADC following tussle for power amid claims and counter claims both by Congress and NCP, besides filing court cases.
There were allegations from the NCP that the government formed the commission to prevent the party to form the Executive Committee in the GHADC in 2010.

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