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8 Mar 2017

Graft case against former civic chief - SDO files complaint against Cong MLA

Mohit Sengupta
TT, Raiganj, Mar. 7: The administration has filed a police complaint against the former chairman of Raiganj municipality, Mohit Sengupta, accusing him of corruption, breach of trust and diversion of government funds at the civic body.
The complaint was filed by Raiganj subdivisional officer T.N. Sherpa yesterday evening.
Sengupta could not be contacted. A local Congress leader said Sengupta was out of the state for some "organisational work".
The SDO has been the administrator of the municipality since July 22 last year when the term of the Congress-board led by Sengupta ended.
Sources said Sherpa had checked the accounts and financial statements of the civic body of the past few years. "He found certain anomalies and instructed the executive officer and the finance officer of the municipality to submit reports to him," said a source.
Today, Sherpa said in the past three years, Sengupta had initiated as many as 270 different projects, the total cost of which was around Rs 8.50 crore. "The civic body did not have funds for the projects and he did not take any approval from the state finance department as required in such cases. The civic body now has a loan of Rs 8.50 crore because of the former chairman's decision."
The SDO said Sengupta, who is the current Raiganj MLA, had diverted funds and carried out different works. "All these were done by keeping both the executive officer and the finance officer in dark," Sherpa said.
North Dinajpur district police said a case had been registered against Sengupta at Raiganj police station.
"We have filed a case under Sections 30 (valuable security), 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent) and 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) of the IPC," Amit Kumar Bharat Rathod, the superintendent of police of North Dinajpur, said.
Police sources said permission had been sought from the Speaker of the Assembly to take "further steps" against the MLA.
Deepa Das Munshi, the former MP of Raiganj and a Congress leader, said the MLA had been implicated in false cases.
"Elections to Raiganj municipality are likely to be held in a couple of months. Trinamul leaders are well aware that they cannot win the polls and that is why they are using the administration to implicate the MLA in a false case."
Arindam Sarkar, a district Trinamul leader, said: "We had information that the erstwhile Congress civic board had indulged in corruption. Congress leaders are aware that the former civic chief is in a tricky situation and that is why they have raised baseless allegations against our party."

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