The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Swindle slur on Mizo CM

Aizawl, July 24: Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga was today named in an FIR filed by a dissident group of former Mizo National Front (MNF) rebels, who accused him of swindling Rs 1.20 crore granted by the Centre under provisions of the Mizo Accord.

“We believe the then finance minister Zoramthanga and the then relief and rehabilitation minister Tawnluia are to be held responsible for these missing funds. We, therefore, request you to investigate the matter,” the Peace Accord MNF Returnees’ Association stated in the FIR submitted to the Aizawl police station.

The group also submitted a memorandum to Mizoram governor A.R. Kohli, requesting a probe by a central agency into the alleged scam.

Association general secretary H. Lallungmuana stated in the FIR that when the MNF came overground in 1986, identity cards were issued to 581 individuals though the actual number of returnees was 572. He alleged that rehabilitation funds amounting to Rs 3.6 lakh had been received by nine non-existent MNF returnees.

A sum of Rs 20,000 as housing assistance for each returnee, amounting to Rs 1.20 crore, paid in cheque issued by the relief and rehabilitation commissioner had gone missing and no returnee had received his dues.

Relief and rehabilitation minister Lalrinchhana had told the Assembly on Monday that a one-man judicial inquiry commission under deputy secretary (finance) Chawngtinthanga had been set up to probe the missing funds.

“As the last inquiry committee had not come up with anything concrete, we feel this latest government decision will be an exercise in futility yet again. We have, therefore, decided to take the matter in our hands and file the FIR,” Lungmuana said today.

Association executives also met the governor today and submitted a six-point memorandum to him. Dwelling on the missing rehabilitation funds to the tune of Rs 1.2 crore, they requested the governor to inform the Centre and ask a central agency to conduct an investigation.

Apart from asking the governor to use his influence at the Centre to provide housing assistance for the 572 returnees, the association also requested Kohli’s assistance in arranging a sustainable livelihood for each of returnees in accordance with Article 3:3 of the Memorandum of Settlement.

They also requested the governor to help them solve problems like the impending eviction of eight returnee families from the Remna Run area, where 11 such families had set up homes in 1986. Kohli was also urged to inform the Centre that the MNF government was going against the Memorandum of Settlement of 1986 with the Centre by “helping militants”.

Sympathising with the association on its grievances, Kohli said most of the matter was out of his hands as the Centre had fulfilled its part of the bargain according to the Memorandum of Settlement.

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