Chief minister N. Biren Singh clarified to the media today regarding the paper belt scam report published in today’s edition of this paper (Jan 3 edition) during a press conference at his secretariat conference hall today.
He said that the sample of the belt approved by the tender committee was given for inspection with the other belts which were supplied then and the Line Committee had inspected the specifications. He produced the belt sample signed by three Line Committee members. Imphal Free Press source had stated otherwise.
He also contended that the value of the belts amounting to Rs 23,40,000 will be recovered from the Line Committee members comprising of SP F. Gonglin, ASP M. Kumarjit and retired IGP S. Manglemjao and that a departmental inquiry is still underway.
When questioned why the charge submitted by IGP( Administration ) S. Ibocha had mentioned only 20 belts, the chief minister replied that it was for sampling purpose and all the 20,000 belts supplied back in 2014 are still in storage.
It can be pointed out that the police department had procured the belts for use in 2014 and as per reply of the chief minister, all the belts are lying in the 1st MR storage room. When inquired if the police department is not using any belt from the said supply, he said that the previous government will have the knowledge.
The chief minister stated further that a cross verification should be done before any report implicating the present government is published.
It may be mentioned here, in a bid to authenticate the report, the CM was contacted on his mobile by IFP on Dec 31, but the call was answered.
It was inquired also if the CM would give an action taken report about the wireless scam of Rs 3 crore and the CCTV scam during the conference, he replied that the report along with several others will be revealed in due course of time.
According to a press handout, the government clarified that the state had ordered an inquiry for supply of uniform and web equipment items to police department in 2013-14. The inquiry report submitted that the 20,000 leather belts costing Rs 23,40,000 supplied by M/S Md. Abdul Gani Khan was found to be defective and poor in quality.
Accordingly, an FIR was lodged against the said supplier and the investigation is going on. The supplier was also blacklisted but the High Court of Manipur had quashed the government’s order.
However, a show cause notice was submitted on December 20 last to the said supplier. Imphal Free Press in its Jan 4 edition had carried the response of the supplier that the government had mentioned only 20 belts and it was negligible.
The release continued that the state government had suspended two working officials of the Line Committee and pension benefit of retired Manglemjao was held back. It stated further that the suspension of the two officers has been revoked by the state government and ordered that the officers shall be prosecuted under the Manipur Public Servant Liability Act and pass necessary order for recovery under the Act.
A departmental inquiry has also been proceeded against them and in respect of the retired IGP, the state government has written to MHA for institution of a disciplinary proceedings against him, the release concluded.
CM announces direct flight from Imphal to national capital
Chief minister informed the media persons that as promised earlier, Imphal-Delhi direct flight service had been introduced from January 2 this year. There would be two flights in a week on Sunday and Tuesday as of now, he added.
Biren further said that he has had talks with the top officials of Air Asia and Airports Authority of India to facilitate launching of daily Imphal-Delhi direct flights. He asserted that Air Asia may introduce daily flights between Imphal and the national capital from the first week of April this year.
He also said that he requested Air Asia officials to introduce direct flights from Imphal to cities like Chennai, Bengaluru and others, where many of Manipuri people is residing.