Corruption, security issues
Corruption, security issues
From Jyoti Lal Chowdhury
Silchar: Even as Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister of Assam, claims law and order situation in the State has improved, the data of crimes recorded by the National Crime Control Board Bureau and Assam Police tells a different tale. BJP State general secretary, Prodyut Bora, said that though the total population of Assam constituted just 2.5 per cent of the country, it had recorded 4.09 per cent of the total number of murder cases in India. Further, the State registered 8.03 per cent of the country’s kidnapping cases, 5.47 per cent of the number of dacoities, 3.03 per centof robberies, 3.41 per cent of the burglary cases, 2.36 per cent of thefts and 2.9 per cent of rioting cases. He added to say between 2006 and 2010, there had been 78 per cent increase in kidnapping, 24 per cent in robbery, 95 per cent in extortion, 35 per cent in burglary and 13 per cent in theft. These are the statistics by the State crime monitoring bureau which are clear evidence of the total breakdown of law and order under the Tarun Gogoi Government. He also quoted the speech of the Governor J B Patnaik who at a conference in the national capital in October said that the security situation in the State was far from normal. His statement was made at the meet of Governors from across the country.
The contradiction between the law and order perception of the Chief Minister and the Governor of Assam has only exposed how hollow are the claims of the head of the State on the security scenario. Pradyut Bora also referred to the disclosures made by the Red Horns Division of the Army about the recovery of 1,479 weapons between 2008 and till August, 2011. Many of these weapons, quite alarmingly, are missing and it is believed these have passed on in the hands of criminals. The easy availability of weapons in the State as reports come out about their seizure from the criminals are an indication of the laxity creeping in the law and order machinery. He had a dig at Tarun Gogoi whom he described as a superman being a Chief Minister, a home minister and a finance minister at the same time. He questioned how could the Chief Minister had the time and energy to think of improving law and order?
The BJP also accused Tarun Gogoi of giving incentives to corrupt and corruptions. He gave an example of a former officer on special duty in the department of irrigation and present MLA Enamul Haque Laskar who was involved in the Rs 275 crore scam involving 57 schemes. RP Sarmah, chairman of State legal and legislative cell of BJP and Pradyut Bora, general secretary, submitted a reminder to the officer-in-charge of Dispur police station, the commissioner and secretary of the State home department as well as the director general of police, asking why despite lodging an FIR at the capital’s police station on September 5 this year, no action had yet been taken against Enamul Haque Laskar. The role of the police and the government is questionable, the reminder pointed out. The party has also demanded that the role of the Chief Minister in this multi crore irrigation scam should also be brought under the ambit of investigation. The Chief Minister, they alleged, is trying to protect Enamul Haque Laskar. The present irrigation minister Ardhendu Dey had admitted that massive scam took place in the irrigation department which the Chief Minister denied it. The BJP also expressed its dismay and worriness at the recent trend among politicians and bureaucrats involved in corruptions to jump in fray and become MLA or minister with the dubious design to hush up their crimes. BJP cautioned if the government failed to cause CBI inquiry into the irrigation scam, it would move to the High Court.
In the thick of BJP haranguing the Gogoi Government on law and order and corruption counts, the Public Accounts Committee headed by MLA SIrajuddin Ahmed came out with startling revelations of about Rs 30,000 crore Public Distribution System (PDS) scam in the State. According to him, around 62 lakh ration cards including bogus are in circulation in the entire State. Since 1993 the scam has been continuing involving supply of rice against bogus ration cards which ultimately has been making its way to black market. The Food and Civil Supply Department caused an internal inquiry and it was found that kerosene, sugar and rice allotted by the Centre to Assam under PDS were making their way to Bangladesh also through black market. PAC has demanded that Tarun Gogoi Government should order investigation by an independent agency in order to bring to the fore the entire gamut behind this massive corruption. Quite significantly, thousands of bogus ration cards are in circulation in Morigaon district, the home constituency of the former Food and Civil Supply minister, Dr. Nazrul Islam. The question is will Tarun Gogoi dare to cause investigation by CBI, as demanded by the people and the Opposition? In a State like Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the event of unearthing of corruptions or scams in any department of the State has set-up fast track courts and till date 66,000 criminals have been convicted. Besides, he has enacted a law to confiscate the property, movable as well as immovable, if they are convicted. Considering the magnitude and dimension of scams hitting Assam, Gogoi should follow the example of Nitish Kumar and establish his oft-repeated assertion on transparent and fair governance.