As you sow, so shall you reap. A witchdoctor on the run seems to have taught this lesson to a law-evading engineer wanted in a major tribal council scam.
The twist in the scamming tale came to light after sleuths of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided the house of Karuna Saikia in Guwahati on Saturday. Saikia, additional chief engineer of Public Health Department, was suspended last year for his alleged involvement in the scam.
The scam involved the diversion of more than Rs 1,000 crore meant for government projects to a tribal militant outfit in Assam’s North Cachar Hills district. The National Investigation Agency had last year taken it up as its maiden case before assigning it to the CBI.
The CBI officials declined to say how much they recovered in cash from Saikia’s residence, but they had a ‘hunch’ it was much less than they expected to seize.
But Saikia’s wife Meena apparently knew where the missing money was. During the course of the CBI raid, she said: “My husband was desperate to avoid being caught. So he turned to priests and witchdoctors. An occultist named Oliver Momin took several lakhs as well as a Maruti Esteem car from him in lieu of lucky charms and amulets guaranteeing immunity from the law. This is nothing but robbery.”
The police are searching for Momin, who like his victim, is absconding.
The CBI, meanwhile, has given Saikia a week’s time to give up.
The raid at Saikia’s residence came 10 days after the CBI found Rs 13.45 crore in cash from the house of Rural Development junior engineer Amjad Hussain, also wanted in the NC Hills scam.