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Probe likely into NCC fund scam

The Meghalaya Police is considering seeking the help of either CID or CBI to probe the alleged embezzlement of Central funds worth
several lakhs by a few NCC officials. The funds were meant for promoting NCC activities in the North-East.

East Khasi Hills Superintendent of Police Last Born Rapthap told reporters here that the cops alone would not be able to investigate the case and that he had written to the headquarters seeking to hand over the case to CID or CBI.

"Since the case is related to embezzlement of Central funds, we feel that investigating agencies like CID or CBI would be more appropriate to take up this case," Rapthap said. An FIR had been lodged by NCC deputy director general Brigadier P R Sharma with the Cantonment Police Beat House here alleging that two officials of the Shillong-based Directorate of National Cadet Corps (NCC) had misused demand drafts meant for various NCC group headquarters in the North-East amounting to Rs 43 lakh.

The SP said the preliminary findings of the state police indicated that over Rs 66 lakh of Central funds were misappropriated. However, neither NCC officials involved in the scam were arrested nor could the passbooks used for depositing the money be seized, Rapthap added.

Police had earlier stated that the investigation would take some time, as a special investigation team (SIT) had to crosscheck the records at the Central Bank here. A separate court of inquiry has also been ordered by the NCC headquarters and three senior officials are already in the city to conduct the court of inquiry.

Brigadier Sharma, in the FIR, said demand drafts worth Rs 43 lakh had been "misused". Sources said the amount was only the "tip of an iceberg" and further investigations would reveal the real magnitude of the scandal involving senior NCC officials.

According to the FIR, the amount that was siphoned off was on demand draft payable to various group headquarters in the region. They include the demand draft of the Central Bank of India dated December 22, 2008 payable at Kohima NCC Group headquarter amounting to Rs 3,24,788, a de-mand draft dated June 24, 2008 worth Rs 2 lakh payable at Guwahati, NCC Group headquarter, another dated July 12, 2008 amounting to Rs 3 lakh payable at Guwahati and a demand draft dated December 22, 2008 amounting to Rs 6 lakh payable at Guwahati. The disappearance of funds came to light after the NCC's Dibrugarh group headquarters informed the Shillong Directorate in March that it had not received any demand draft worth Rs 9 lakh. The NCC Silchar group headquarters also lodged a similar complaint.

On receiving such complaints, accounts officer of NCC's Shillong office VW Lahkar crosschecked with the banks concerned about the status of the demand drafts and found that the drafts were cancelled and the signatures were forged.

According to the FIR, a clerk of the NCC directorate, D C Borah from Sivasagar district, Assam was involved in the scam in connivance with a few staff of the Shillong Cantonment Branch of the Central Bank of India. Sources revealed that Brigadier Sharma in a confidential report sent to the NCC authorities in the first week of April intimated the finding of the preliminary inquiry, which named NCC Director Colonel A K Barua as one of the officials involved in the scam. Both Colonel Barua and Borah had retired from service on January 31 this year.

Source: TOI


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