Friday, 14 December 2012

Bishnupriya Manipuri bodies demand dissolution of Development Council

Special Correspondent

SILCHAR, June 9: Various Bishnupriya Manipuri bodies in a joint memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister of Assam and submitted through the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar have demanded dissolution of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council on grounds of large scale corruption and irregularities in the utilization of government grants-in-aid of Rs 10 crore provided to the Council during 2010-11 by the Government of Assam. They also demanded its reconstitution with the members of the social organizations of repute for welfare of the community and for the sake of fairness and transparency in its functioning.

The memorandum alleged that there have been allegations from the people of the community against the Council which has not been constituted properly. The very constitution of the committee for Development Council, it has been pointed out, has not been done in consultation with the executive heads of Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha, the parent organization. Instead, the proposal for the issuance of notification of the committee has been signed by some ex office-bearers of the organization in flagrant violation of the laid down procedure.

Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha, Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Students’ Union, Bishnupriya Manipuri Gana Sangram Parishad, Bishnupriya Manipuri Women’s Organizations, Bishnupriya Manipuri Sahitya Sabha, Bishnupriya Manipuri Samaj Sanstha, Bishnupriya Manipuri Ex-Servicemen’s Organization and Bishnupriya Manipuri Andolan Parishad are the recognized social organizations on the forefront of all movements of the community and talks with the Government of Assam. 

Unfortunately, the representatives of these organizations have not been invited or taken into confidence in the process of forming the committee. It has been further alleged that such irregularities have been done at the behest of the then MLA of Patharkandi constituency, Kartik Sena Sinha with the malafide intention of getting the benefit of the post of chairman for himself.

The memorandum lists specific instances of how there has been large scale corruption in the utilization of government grants-in-aid of Rs 10 crore in violation of the standing instructions and guidelines. It has been in respect of the grants-in-aid in agriculture, public works department and veterinary sectors. In the name of income generating schemes and distribution of auto rickshaws and sewing machines. Allegation is that commission money from the beneficiaries have been collected through the office-bearers of the committee irregularly constituted. Though the beneficiaries under the scheme should be from BPL families, the norms have been flouted. The selection has been done arbitrarily. Beneficiaries selected also from affluent families, it has been pointed out.

Around 100 of the 196 beneficiaries selected for sewing machines belong to rich families, the memorandum alleged. Their names have also been furnished along with the representation. Even, some of the names listed for benefits under other schemes like SHG are fake. A detailed inquiry with physical verification will reveal the truth. Disbursement of financial assistance to clubs and institutions, it has been alleged, involves large scale irregularities. No utilization certificates and actual payee receipts of the beneficiaries have been furnished when sought for by the bodies under RTI Act 2005. Neither advertisements have been made in local dailies for inviting applications for selection of beneficiaries under the schemes as pointed out earlier.

Dr Debendra Kumar Sinha, president of Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha, has pointed out that huge sums of money under grants-in-aid provided by the government have been siphoned off. This has been brought to the notice of the department of WPT and BC through series of representations and staging protest demonstrations in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar, but there has been no response. It is not only intriguing but also mysterious. The memorandum has been submitted in anticipation that immediate action will be initiated to probe all the documented allegations for remedial measures.

Courtesy: The Sentinel
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