Kiren Rijiju dismisses hydro project scam allegations, says conspirators 'will be beaten by shoes'

The Chief Vigilance Officer of the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) has alleged that the Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju, his cousin Goboi Rijiju — a contractor in Arunachal Pradesh — and several top officials of NEEPCO are involved in a multi-crore scam in the construction of two dams for 600 MW Kameng Hydro Electric Project, one of the biggest hydro-electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh.

 Kiren Rijiju dismisses hydro project scam allegations, says conspirators will be beaten by shoes

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju. PTI

According to The Indian Express, in a 129-page report, CVO Satish Verma alleged an "elaborate conspiracy" involving contractors, NEEPCO officials and the West Kameng district administration to defraud NEEPCO and the government of funds that "may extend up to Rs 450 crore." Rijiju had written a letter to Ministry of Power to release funds to the contractor and his cousin Goboi Rijiju, News18 reported.

Chief Vigilance Officer Satish Verma, a Gujarat IPS officer, was pulled up by NEEPCO for "unauthorised absence," and transferred to the CRPF in Tripura soon after his report. The Indian Express quoted him as attributing the "absence" to his investigation.

On the other hand, Congress alleged Rijiju's role in "450-crore scam" in Arunachal is under cloud and demanded his removal till independent probe is conducted.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, "PM Modi's claim of transparency now under question, people are
watching what action he takes in 'Arunachal scam'."

Meanwhile, Rijiju said that those who "planted" the news that he has been named along with a few others in a vigilance report on corruption at NEEPCO will get beaten up with shoes if they come to Arunachal Pradesh. "Jhoothe khayenge hamare yahan," ANI quoted him as saying reacting to the report that appeared in The Indian Express on Tuesday. According to the paper, Verma's report alleges many fake and "inflated bills" by contractors to embezzle money "in the name of transporting rocks".

Reacting to the news, a Congress member of Arunachal Pradesh said.

Rijiju represents Arunachal Pradesh in the Lok Sabha. CVO Verma is a Gujarat-cadre IPS officer who assisted on the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, and in a petition to the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) alleged that his role as a CVO was curtailed since he flagged off the multi-crore scam. "In the affidavit, Mr. Verma said that all his outstation visits were accounted for and were done to investigate the fraudulent activities," The Hindu reported.

Speaking to The Hindu, Rijiju, however, said, "He (Goboi) is a distant cousin. Be it anyone, whether distant cousins or friends, will not tolerate if my name is used to get their works done. Anyway I will always ensure that my people don’t face hardship."

Updated Date: Dec 13, 2016 15:26:16 IST