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ACAUT rejects SIT; no trust in judiciary or govt.

By EMN Updated: Jul 16, 2016 12:02 am

‘A chief minister’s silence can attract riots, deaths’ 

Dimapur, July 15 : The Against Corruption & Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) has rejected in outright the Nagaland government instituting a ‘Special Investigation Team’ (SIT) or even any ‘judicial enquiry’ to investigate the fuel-adulteration racket in Nagaland– expressing distrust in their integrity.

Being one of the most corrupted states in India, Nagaland’s judicial community has yet to prosecute even one individual for corruption, the ACAUT stated.

The organization expressed concerns yet again that the government would give a clean-chit to all the higher-ups linked to the racket and that the members of the “eye-wash” SIT would compromise their work under the influence of the powers-that-be.
The ACAUT issued a formal statement on Friday, July 15, addressed to the chief minister of Nagaland.

The organization also questioned the chief minister’s silence on current burning issues. The ACAUT reminded that in other states any chief minister’s ‘long periods of silence’ would attract violent public unrest, including deaths.’

The anti-graft group has stated its rejection of the SIT unless the investigations was to be led by the current commissioner of Dimapur police.

“That the chief minister, who is also the portfolio in-charge of F & CS department, chose to remain silent for a full 16 days on the fuel adulteration issue is an admission in itself that the government wished for the issue to die a natural death,” the ACAUT stated.

“The silence of the chief minister and the government for such long periods in any other states would have led to massive street protests leading to unwarranted situations, even deaths. Even in a pliant state like Nagaland, the government should realize that the seething anger of the people cannot be contained for long since there is a limit to every situation.”

The announcement of an SIT by the government is nothing but “an eye-wash and a conspiracy to derail the excellent work done by the Dimapur police in investigating the case,” the organization remarked.

The ACAUT explained the reasons for its rejecting the SIT (Given verbatim):

1. The state government will ensure that the SIT gives a clean- chit to all the higher-ups in the government who are involved or linked to the larger fuel adulteration racket.

2. It is beyond doubt that the SIT during the course of its investigation will not touch the issue of the siphoning of SK Oil to the tune of several lakh litres per month (out of 14Lakh litres quota per month) to the fuel adulteration market and therefore, the SIT will be a toothless tiger to begin with.

3. The SIT members, irrespective of their personal integrity and efficiency, will be compelled to compromise on the issue by the state government and therefore will be mere rubberstamps.

4. When 4 of the 5 accused kingpins have been arrested by the Dimapur police, the need for SIT does not arise unless the attempt is to sabotage the intensity and the commitment of the Dimapur police’s investigation so that higher officials are not implicated.

The organization also stated its rejection for “any so-called ‘judicial enquiry’ in case it was being contemplated by the state government.

“It is a fact that for a state which is one of the most corrupted in India, the state judiciary hasn’t convicted even a single person on corruption matter. This speaks volumes about the efficacy and integrity of our state’s judicial system,” the organization stated.

“There have been numerous instances when the judiciary has undone the good work done by the police on sensitive issues by issuing bails even on non-bailable sections thereby giving rise to suspicions that the judiciary is under the spell of politicians and corruptive influences.”

Stating that the public had lost all faith in the Nagaland judiciary, the organization remarked that “it would be a spit on public face if the government institutes a ‘judicial enquiry’ on this issue.”

“Thus, given the circumstances, the ACAUT Nagaland rejects the formation of the SIT or any ‘judicial enquiry’ in the future.”

However, the ACAUT stated that it was willing to accept the SIT provided that the present Commissioner of Dimapur police led the investigations.

“As it is the ACAUT has full faith in the Dimapur police to carry out the investigation to its logical conclusion. However, it cannot allow handpicked SIT to usurp the power of Dimapur police and if the intention of the state government and the (honorable) CM is sincere, the subject matter of Dimapur police commissioner heading the SIT should be accepted. Unless this is so, the government will only aggravate the situation.”

Dimapur police breaks silence

The Dimapur police, meanwhile, have issued a statement listing out the turn of events that led to the detecting of the racket.

The statement said to offer information to the public (Given here verbatim).

♦ On 27.06.2016, following the seizure of huge quantities of illegally stored Hydro Carbons and assets from 06 locations spread across Dimapur, criminal cases were registered at Diphupar Police Station and West Police Station for further investigation.

♦ Fuel samples were collected from the storages in these sites and from all Retail outlets suspected of dispensing adulterated fuels. The samples have been forwarded to the Forensic Science Laboratory for chemical analysis to ascertain their nature and qualities.

♦ In the investigation process, the Operators of the raided sites were identified and 12 persons have been arrested in connection to the cases. A petrol pump located at Chumukedima has also been sealed in the interest of the Investigation. The arrested persons are identified as Srikant Jaiswal; Dinanath Prasad; Noval Ray; Umesh Yadav; Ajay Prasad; Amar Choudhury; Mona Prasad; Mani Das; Ram Prasad Rai; Suresh Singh; Amarendra Kumar Singh; Prem Prasad.

♦ The Dimapur Police would like to assure that the investigation of the case is being taken up in full earnest and sincerity. It would like to seek the support and co-operation of all concerned but, at the same time, warn of legal prosecution against any person or agencies, attempting to hamper the investigation process.

♦ The Police Headquarters, Nagaland has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by the Inspector General of Police (Range), Nagaland to upgrade the level and broaden the scope of investigations. The Dimapur Police will continue to render full assistance and co-operation to the SIT to ensure proper investigations and delivery of justice.


Authorities check petrol pumps in Kohima 

Two teams of officials from the Kohima district administration, police and the department of Legal Metrology & Consumer Protection tested fuel in 12 petrol pumps in Kohima district on Friday. The testing comes close on the heels of a fuel adulteration racket exposed by the ACAUT in various districts.
According to the deputy commissioner of Kohima, Rovilatuo Mor, a ‘simple fuel testing with locally available test equipments such as capacity test and density tests’ was undertaken at various fuel outlets of the district. Some ‘measurement defects’ in petrol and diesel were detected at three fuel stations. The ‘defective fuel pumps’ were sealed by the authorities. The administrator however emphasized that the ‘measurement defects’ were ‘not cases of adulteration.’
While remarking that the district administration ‘would like’ to conduct intensive tests, Mor maintained that ‘due to constraints such as fuel testing laboratory in the state,’ samples have had to be collected to be sent outside Nagaland, which he said would take a long time. Friday’s checking ‘went well’ and no major untoward activity was detected. The district’s authorities will ‘continue to be vigilant’ and will be conducting more such tests in the future, he added.

By EMN Updated: Jul 16, 2016 12:02:52 am