NC Hills funds siphoned off to foreign countries

According to recent Assam Tribune report, substantial amount of fund allocated for development of the lone Hill Station of Assam NC Hills ( North Cachar Hills) districts has been siphoned off to foreign countries using various ‘Hawala’ channels.

the Enforcement Directorate has been investigating the case of money laundering in NC Hills Autonomous Council and during preliminary investigation, it was found that funds allotted to the Council were sent to Kolkata through hawala racket, where it was converted into dollars to be sent to Nepal. The commander in chief of the DHD (J), Niranjan Hojai used to stay in Nepal and after converting the money into dollars in Kolkata, the same was sent to Nepal for making payments for arms procurements.

For long time, corruption in NC Hills has been legendary in Assam. It was rumoured that government officials themselves have to bribe their superiors to be posted in NC Hills for few years in order to ‘make money’. It may be noted that, NC Hills is an autonomous district under 6th Schedule of Indian constitution for self governance. But recently, it has become a ‘money spinning’ machine for everyone in Assam.

Sources said that the person mainly involved in hawala transfer of funds from Guwahati has been identified but the National Investigation Agency (NIA) made him the witness in its case relating to siphoning off of funds to the coffers of militant groups.

Official sources said that the officials of the Directorate of Enforcement so far questioned nine of the 13 accused, 12 of whom are in judicial custody. But they could not question DHD (J) chief Jewel Garlosa, Niranjan Hojai and two other members of the militant group as they went on a hunger strike in protest against their arrest and had to be shifted to hospital. Sources said that the officials of Enforcement Directorate would try to question them as soon as possible regarding money laundering.

Sources, however, said that there would be a hitch in questioning Jewel Garlosa. The Court has granted permission to the Enforcement Directorate only to question the accused in the central jail, Guwahati. But Garlosa has been kept in a special jail in the headquarter of the Special Branch of the Assam Police and the Directorate does not have the court permission to question the militant leader there. The Directorate has written to the Additional Director General of Police, Special Branch asking as to when Garlosa could be shifted to the Central jail for questioning and the reply of the police is awaited.

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