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Flip side: A scam in the time of hope

CBI has begun a probe against a top Andaman official, reports Sujit Nath.

india Updated: Dec 24, 2005 04:41 IST

Hidden in the midst of hope is the hint of a scam. The CBI and the CVC have initiated a probe against Joint Director of Agriculture, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, for his alleged involvement in the bungling of funds for tsunami victims.

The lid was blown off the scam after a man identifying himself as Kabir, in an anonymous letter to CBI and the CVC, said several crores of rupees were laundered by Salam and other employees of the department, including one Pradip Singh.

An independent inquiry by the Hindustan Times found that Salam was earlier involved in several issues starting from reconstruction to postings for a price. “We are inquiring into cases against him,” a senior CBI officer said. He said if anyone is found guilty, adequate action will be taken against the accused according to the law.”

A copy of the letter with HT said, “Both are self-styled kings of the archipelago and we want that a special team should be formed to probe the irregularities.” The duo was not available for comment.

The local administration had pegged the estimate for rehabilitation of farmers and soil reclamation at Rs 497.44 crore.

The administration got more than 70 per cent funds from the Rajiv Gandhi Tsunami Relief Package only for agriculture.

Of this, only 40 per cent was spent. The rest vanished.

First Published: Dec 24, 2005 02:38 IST