By Paritosh Chakma
TAKING SERIOUS note of the allegations of the opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) regarding alleged destruction of evidence by the Congress-ruled Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) in southern Mizoram, Governor of Mizoram, Shri Vakkom Purushothaman has ordered a time-bound investigation by the Deputy Commissioner of Lawngtlai district to be completed within one month.
The MNF has alleged that the crucial papers that could have nailed high level political corruption in awarding of compensation in India-Bangladesh border fencing were destroyed under the directives and consent of the incumbent Chief Executive Member of the Council Mr Kali Kumar Tongchangya in order to save themselves from CBI’s inquiry.
In the morning of 25 June 2012, Mr Zoramthanga, MNF chief, met the Mizoram Governor and sought the dissolution of the CADC’s Congress government and arrest of all Members of Executive Committee of the Chakma District Council alleging that all papers, files, registers, receipt books etc bearing correspondences of land passes issued from the year 1972 to 2005 were destroyed following an order by Mr Tongchangya, the incumbent chief of CADC.
In his defence, the Chakma District Council chief has issued a statement denying all allegations.
However, the allegations are so serious that the Mizoram Governor acted almost immediately. In his letter No. F. 23015/58/2009-GS dated 25th June 2012, a copy of which is with this citizen journalist , addressed to B Lalhmingthanga, the Deputy Commissioner of Lawngtlai, the Secretary to the Governor writes, “His Excellency, Shri Vakkom Purushothaman, Governor of Mizoram has received a complaint from Pu Zoramthanga, President, MNF, bringing to his knowledge irregularities in the Chakma Autonomous District Council regarding destruction of records pertaining to compensation for construction of Indo-Bangladesh Border Fencing. His Excellency desires that an enquiry be conducted immediately by you and a report is submitted within a month.”
It is important to mention here that the CBI in its preliminary enquiry has found prima facie evidence against sitting Members of District Council, including Executive Members, officials of CADC and their relatives. It registered a case No. RCSHG2010A00007 dt 30/12/2010 u/s 120-B, 420, 468, 471 IPC and Sec 13(2) r/w Sec 13(1) (c) & (d) of P.C. Act, 1988 and started investigating in December 2010.
The CBI preliminary enquiry report has made explosive revelations against sitting Executive Members of the CADC. For example, at Page 3 (I) of the CBI report it is mentioned thus,
“Enquiry further reveals that apart from above fake claim by different persons, the family members of the Executive Members of Chakma Autonomous District council and Officials are getting compensation against fake land pass certificates even though they do not have land over the affected areas.”
This is a case seen by many as acid test for CBI’s impartiality and effectiveness in dealing with cases of high level political corruption in one of the three Autonomous District Councils in Mizoram, which enjoys autonomy under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India.