Congress petitions CBI to probe seven charges against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, family

They include shifting an elephant corridor of Kaziranga National Park to avoid eviction of a tea estate in his wife’s name

September 06, 2022 05:29 am | Updated 05:29 am IST - GUWAHATI

Himanta Biswa Sarma. File

Himanta Biswa Sarma. File | Photo Credit: PTI

GUWAHATI

The Assam unit of the Congress on Monday petitioned the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking a probe into seven specific charges against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and others, including his wife.

The charges include shifting an animal corridor of Kaziranga National Park in order to avoid eviction of a tea estate in his wife’s name.

In a letter to CBI Director Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) said during the recent inauguration of an international school on the outskirts of Guwahati, the Chief Minister’s wife, Riniki Bhuyan Sarma had publicly announced that Mr. Sarma was the school’s founder. Ms. Riniki Bhuyan Sarma is the owner of the school, the APCC said.

“Being the head of the State of Assam, how can a Chief Minister run an international school?” the letter signed by APCC president Bhupen Kumar Borah, AICC general secretary Jitendra Singh, MP Abdul Khaleque and others said.

The APCC alleged RBS Realtors, a firm renamed Vasistha Realtors, had transferred unaccounted money from Kolkata to many firms and companies belonging to the Assam Chief Minister’s family.

Ashok Dhanuka, involved in the Jharkhand MLA horse-trading case, is the all-time director of the firm, the APCC said while demanding a probe into the transactions done by the firm from Kolkata.

Land scam

The party also sought a probe into an alleged land scam in which, it claimed, the Chief Minister’s family and RBS Realtors were involved.

Among the other allegations against the members of the Chief Minister’s family include a yarn company that “purchases all silk at a cheap price from the weavers and sells them at a very high price”, and purchase of a huge quantity of PPE kits during the COVID-19 pandemic by “violating all prescribed norms and guidelines”

“In the matter of Kanchanjuri Tea Estate of upper Assam, which is also owned by the CM’s wife, where the internal roads, etc., were built by Govt’s fund as learnt from public. Her tea estate land falls under an elephant corridor for which the Supreme Court ordered eviction but the CM called a special Cabinet meeting and shifted the animal corridor in such a way that no eviction was carried out in that particular tea garden,” the APCC’s petition to the CBI read.

The Congress further alleged that all areca nut, coal and cattle syndicates in Assam were being run under the Chief Minister’s direct supervision. “…we anticipate that the CBI will do the needful,” it said.

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