FIR against Paul after RTI shocker

Michael Pakyntein (second from right) and other residents of Mawprem address
a press conference in the city on Wednesday. (UB)

SHILLONG: An FIR was filed on Wednesday before the Chief Vigilance Commissioner against UDP member Paul Lyngdoh after an RTI reply revealed that the MLA has allegedly misused public fund to the tune of Rs 55.80 lakh.
Interestingly, those who filed the RTI query were Lyngdoh’s former supporters. But they denied any political agenda in filing the RTI and the subsequent FIR.
The scheme in question is the Special Urban Work Programme (SUWP) in which Rs 55.80 lakh public fund was allegedly misappropriated.
The FIR was handed to Chief Secretary KS Kropha as he is the Chief Vigilance Commissioner.
A copy of the FIR was forwarded to Assembly Speaker.
“As per findings under the RTI Act, 2005, obtained from the Shillong Municipal Board, Lyngdoh has deliberately misappropriated public fund in the supply of numerous utility items to his constituents in which the materials supplied and invoices raised thereafter do not match,” the FIR stated.
Addressing a press conference, Michael Pakyntein, a former supporter of Lyngdoh, said, “The receipts submitted to the Shillong Municipal Board were fake, which is reflected in the declarations made by respective shop owners.”
He added at least three shop owners denied that the materials were supplied by them and they have given their statement in writing as well.
The proprietor of DR Enterprise on Thana Road, in a letter, has denied that his shop sold Neelkamal plastic chairs worth Rs 18.90 lakh to the Chairman of Implementation Committee in West Shillong.
The shopkeeper went on to say someone had misused his cash memo by forging his handwriting and signature.  The RTI reply showed that under SUWP 2014-15, 2,000 plastic chairs were purchased for Rs 18.90 lakh on May 27, 2014; water tanks and tarpaulins were bought for Rs 19.80 lakh and cooking vessels at Rs 17 lakh.
But respective shopkeepers denied supplying the items.
It was also alleged that Lyngdoh bought blankets at Rs 12 lakh. Documents show that each blanket was bought at Rs 375. “However, the market rate for the same is Rs 150. In this case, the misused amount comes to the tune of Rs 7.20 lakh,” another resident of Mawprem, Rishan Nongsiej, said.