GUWAHATI: A bureaucrat and two others were arrested by a Special Investigation Cell (SIC) in Arunachal for their alleged involvement in a Rs.40-crore land compensation scam pertaining to the Trans-Arunachal Highway.
The accused, former Lower Subansiri Deputy Commissioner (District Magistrate) Kemo Lollen, former land revenue and settlement officer Bharat Ligu and businessman Likha Maj, were produced before a court which sent them to seven days' police custody.
Earlier, a landowners' forum in Lower Subansiri district had lodged a complaint against Lollen and others alleging they had embezzled a huge amount from Rs.40 crore sanctioned by the Centre as land compensation along a 30-km stretch of the highway from Joram to Koloriang in the district.
"The inquiry revealed a conspiracy and connivance to misappropriate government money through irregularities in the process of assessment, disbursal of excess compensation and compensation to fake beneficiaries," SIC Superintendent of Police, Pranav Tayal, said. He said the irregularities were unearthed by a fact-finding committee.
The funds were released by the Centre for disbursement to the beneficiaries based on a detailed project report which Lollen had submitted, he said. He also said that during the course of the investigation, the committee had found that fake and non-existent people were awarded compensation. One of the major beneficiaries was Maj which established the connivance, Tayal added.
The 1,703-km Trans-Arunachal Highway is a two-lane and Rs.10,000-crore highway project from Tawang in the north-west to Kanubari in the east. The basic aim of the project is to connect all districts in the state through a highway.