Former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Gegong Apang was on Tuesday arrested by sleuths of a Special Investigation Cell (SIC) probing the Rs. 1000-crore scam in Public Distribution System (PDS) in Arunachal Pradesh.

Mr. Apang was arrested outside the SIC office and later produced before a court of Special Judge at Lakhimpur in Assam.

The court remanded him to seven days in police custody.

Mr. Apang has been booked under Sections 120b (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery), 409 (criminal breach of trust) of IPC read with B-2 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. “We have documentary materials and oral evidences given by co-accused of his involvement in the PDS scam of siphoning government money by making false and fraudulent subsidy bills. The scam caused about Rs. 1,000 crore loss to the government of India,” SIC investigating Officer M.S. Chauhan told The Hindu.

Apang denies role

While speaking to journalists outside the court premise, Mr. Apang, who is credited to be second longest serving Chief Minister after former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu, pleaded innocence and alleged that it was “a political conspiracy to tarnish” his “good image.” He denied his involvement in the scam and demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into it.

50 named as accused

Mr Chauhan said over 50 people, including Mr. Apang, have been named as accused in charge sheets filed before the Gauhati High Court by the SIC in altogether eight cases probed by it pertaining to the scam.

So far, more than 30 of the accused have been arrested while some of them availed anticipatory bails.

The SIC was constituted at the directive of the Gauhati High Court following a public interest litigation filed in 2004 seeking a thorough probe into the PDS scam.