State food minister Jyotipriyo Mullick has set up a one-man commission to probe the recent scam in the public distribution system (PDS) in Darjeeling.
There have been allegations that PDS foodgrains were diverted to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) during the agitation.
Anil Verma, secretary, food and civil supplies, government of West Bengal, has been asked to probe the matter and submit a report in the next 15 days. Mullick alleged that two PDS distributors from the Hills and one from Siliguri have diverted foodgrains and handed them over to the GJM.
“There are complaints of PDS foodgrains being diverted to the GJM and then distributed by that party among its supporters during the bandh. Already, certain inspectors and clerks of the food and civil supply department have been showcaused in connection with this scam.
Stringent action will be taken against all those who are found guilty,” Mullick said.
A PDS dealer from Darjeeling, Brij Mohan Garg, and another from Sukhiapokhari, Nand Kishor Agarwal, have been arrested.
Two others - Dilip Parik and Mangeylala Parik are also in police net. Agarwal and the Pariks have been arrested in connection with the diversion of 100 bags of PDS rice.
Though Garg has been arrested in connection with the torching of a forest bungalow, three of his PDS godowns located at Ghoom Bhanjyang had been sealed by the food and civil supplies department on August 28.
SC ON GJM PLEA
The Supreme Court on Monday heard a special leave petition (SLP) filed by the GJM against the Calcutta High Court order, which had declared the recent bandh in Darjeeling illegal and had asked the GJM why it should not be asked to compensate the financial losses incurred due to the bandh.
The counsel for GJM, Rajiv Dhawan, submitted that the high court order declaring the strike illegal was passed without giving it an opportunity to respond.
GJM received the notice only after the ex-parte order had been passed.
The submission of the counsel was that GJM be permitted to respond to the report filed by the secretary (coordination), home department, government of West Bengal, and explain its position on the high court order and be given sufficient opportunity to file a reply to the report.
It was also submitted that the GJM was not responsible for the losses incurred by the state as alleged in the PIL.
The lawyer also brought to the notice of the Supreme Court that more than 1,000 people have been arrested and the protest was peaceful as per the constitutional right of freedom of speech.