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Those planting news of my name in NEEPCO corruption will be beaten by shoes: Kiren Rijiju

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 13 December 2016, 12:39 IST

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, on 13 December, said that people who "planted" the news of his name being involved in a vigilance report on corruption at North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) will have to face dire consequences if they come to Arunachal Pradesh.

Reacting to the allegations, Rijiju said, "Ye jo plant kar rhe hain news, hamare yahan ayenge to joote khaynge, logon ki sewa karna corruption hai?" (Those who are planting the news will be beaten by shoes if they come to Arunachal Pradesh. Is serving people equal to corruption?)

The report had named Rijiju, his cousin, a contractor in Arunachal Pradesh, Goboi Rijiju, and several top officials of the state-run NEEPCO, including its Chairman and Managing Director, in a 129-page report submitted by the PSU's Chief Vigilance Officer. The report alleges corruption in the construction of two dams for 600 MW Kameng Hydro Electric Project, one of the biggest hydro-electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh.

According to media reports, Chief Vigilance Officer Satish Verma, a Gujarat IPS officer, was pulled down by NEEPCO for "unauthorised absence". Verma was then transferred to the CRPF in Tripura.

Verma's report was sent to the CBI, CVC and the Ministry of Power in July this year.

The report alleges an "elaborate conspiracy" involving contractors, NEEPCO officials and the West Kameng district administration to defraud NEEPCO and the government of funds that "may extend up to Rs 450 crore".

The petition, reported in The Hindu, submitted by Verma before the Guwahati Bench of the CAT challenging the Home Ministry charge sheet, read, "NEEPCO went beyond the contract conditions and agreed to pay for transportation cost of the boulders, technically called 'extra lead' because of the extra distance of transportation. The contractor was getting boulders from some nearby places but billing NEEPCO as if boulders were being transported from much longer distances. The financial implication of this fraud was approximately Rs. 450 crore."

First published: 13 December 2016, 12:39 IST