Huge amounts of funds sent to the Northeast for promoting NCC activity in the region appear to have been pocketed by some defence personnel.
While exact amount is not known, NCC group headquarters in Kohima, Guwahati, Dibrugarh and Silcher have reported that demand drafts purportedly issued in their name amounting to Rs 43 lakh had not been received by them.
Meanwhile, the NCC headquarters have ordered an inquiry into the matter and also lodged an FIR in Shillong.
When the NCC Directorate, North-Eastern Region, Shillong, checked up with the concerned branch of the Central Bank of India, money was found to be siphoned off to other accounts by the NCC staff after cancelling the demand drafts, which were initially issued in favour of various NCC units and headquarters. For the cancellation of the demand drafts, the signature of accounts officer V.W. Lakhar was forged.
Since details from NCC group headquarters in Tezpur, Imphal, Jorhat and Shillong are awaited, the total amount is likely to go much higher.
“What has come out could be the tip of the iceberg and investigations into previous years may also be necessary,” a senior officer said on condition of anonymity.
The Directorate General, NCC, Ministry of Defence, Lt Gen R.K. Karwal, is reported to have ordered a probe into the matter.
While preliminary investigations have pointed to the alleged involvement of NCC Director Colonel A.K. Barua, who operated the account, and D.C. Borah, an accounts clerk, sources in the NCC Directorate here said involvement of others could not be ruled out.
Baruah and Borah have retired recently.
The fraud was unearthed when a consolidated list of the money sent to various group headquarters and NCC units during the past one year was cross-checked with them.
The incident will seriously impact the entire NCC funding in the Northeast. Besides Jammu and Kashmir, the northeastern states are provided special funds by the Centre to the tune of Rs 30 crore annually for training and holding of camps. The NCC directorates in the region also get special funding from the Northeastern states.
“We are also looking at the lack of coordination between the funding from different sources,” sources in NCC headquarters said.