A report of the Assam Police'sVigilance and Anti-Corruption (V&AC) cell has accused the Tarun Gogoi government of recruiting suspected ISI agents in the social welfare department in its last stint (2001-2005).
The report, signed by V&AC deputy superintendent of police Harmohan Kakati, was submitted to the government in July last year. It implicates former Social Welfare minister Gautam Roy?he was accused of murdering NRI Pratui Deb?and two departmental officers of clearing over 300 illegal appointments in exchange of money.
According to the report, norms were not followed in advertising for vacancies in 261 posts of inspectors and 89 lower divisional assistants. Police verification reports were also not sought for each of the candidates appointed. ?It is strange that out of over 300 persons appointed, over 250 were Muslims,? the report said, adding the police had reasons to believe many among the 250 had direct or indirect links with the ISI.
Kakati'sreport also alleged that the social welfare director charged Rs 30,000 from each of the appointed persons while deputy director I. Alam ?collected more than Rs 2 crore?. The report concluded that the appointments have set a dangerous precedent.
Roy, who is the excise minister now, trashed the report as one that ?cannot be substantiated?. He added that the report was an example of the general tendency to brand Muslims as ISI agents. ?There were in fact some 16,000 appointments during my tenure as social welfare minister and not over 300 as the report says, and all were through proper channels,? he claimed.
Not surprisingly, the document has kicked up a furore in the state. Brandishing copies of the ?damaging report?, the Opposition Asom Gana Parishad has demanded action from chief minister Tarun Gogoi. ?We have also written to PM Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil to look into the appointments,? said AGP general secretary Dilip Kumar Saikia.
The report comes close on the heels of a series of scams that has left the Assam government red-faced. A fortnight ago, the police busted a racket in the Education Department that appointed over 1,000 fake teachers. This was followed by a pension scam to the Health Department.