Tezpur, Aug. 17: All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) today took out a huge rally here to protest against the Union minister of state for tribal affairs, Ranee Narah, for being allegedly involved in getting the chief executive officer of Lakhimpur zila parishad, Khagen Borgohain, transferred.
Borgohain, an Assam Civil Service official, received his transfer order after he wrote to the Assam government on August 7 about alleged irregularities in a scheme prepared by Ranee Narah, the Congress MP from Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituency.
The minister said she would respond with “proper documents” next week.
The protests against the transfer have been on in Lakhimpur since yesterday by the various organisations. The AASU today demanded justice for the officer, a high-level probe into the matter and revocation of the transfer order.
Borgohain took over charge in the district as chief executive officer around three months ago. Sources said he was forced to sign a scheme with a budget of around Rs 3 crore for a rural development project.
“But sensing corruption in it, Borgohain had written a letter to the state government on August 7 informing about the possible money swindling involved in it. Immediately, he was handed a transfer,” said a source in the zila parishad.
Talking to The Telegraph from New Delhi, Narah said she attended the meeting as an ex-officio member of the parishad and not as a minister and that she had no authority to order the transfer. “What is documented in the papers and what actually happened in the meeting are very different from what is appearing in the media. It is a political conspiracy,” Narah said,
“The controversy can be attributed to the alleged ignorance of the transferred officer. People don’t know that he had sent a Rs 14-crore proposal to Dispur by keeping the zilla parishad members in the dark. I will respond with proper documents. But I must say here that I don’t transfer officials,” Narah said.
Debojit Mazumder, a member of the AASU central executive, said, “We have sent a memorandum to chief secretary P.P. Varma about this matter and demanded necessary actions to punish the culprits.”
The AASU said the agitation would continue till justice is delivered and the transfer order revoked.
The Congress was cautious in its reaction, which is evident from PCC chief spokesperson Mehdi Alam Bora’s remarks. “We are watching the situation,” he said. Others in the Congress said the party had better things to do than get involved in the controversy at this point of time. “We are busy with the promotion of the food security scheme in the city on August 20,” a PCC member said.
Gaurav Bothra, Lakhimpur deputy commissioner, said a new officer, Naresh Ghosh, has been appointed by the government. Borgohain will hand over charge within a week.