The Hynñiewtrep Achik National Movement (HANM) has alleged that the ‘conduct of Meghalaya Lokayukta is highly suspicious’ in the alleged illegal coal transportation case.

Ency Shadap, president and Shaniahlang Suchen, general secretary of the East Jaintia Hills district of HANM has issued a statement raising several questions of the controversial case.

They demand that the case should be closed immediately so that officials are not unduly harassed, and criminal minded people are not allowed to hold the Meghalaya government for ransom.

The HANM leaders alleged that the petitioner, Abhijit Basumatary, is an Assamese Bodo person as puppet of the coal mafia Abdul Ahad Choudhury from Barak Valley in South Assam.

Shadap and Suchen questioned as to why Abdul Ahad Choudhury did not file complaint himself, and deputed Basumatary to register the complaint with Meghalaya Lokayukta.

After Basumatary had filed the complaint on illegal transportation of coal, betelnut and boulders in Meghalaya and Assam, the Meghalaya Lokayukta on January 10, had order transfer of a lot of officials for a neutral investigation by the CBI.

The Meghalaya Lokayukta is now likely to move contempt proceedings against the state government and the CBI for not complying with the order to probe the coal racket and transfer the officials.

The HANM leaders said any action against corruption is always praiseworthy if done with right intent.

“However, the manner in which this complaint has been taken up is highly suspicious and appears malafide as the intent of the petitioner and his supporter named Abdul Ahad Choudhury is highly doubtful,” they said.

The HANM leaders said Abdul Ahad Choudhury is a person with criminal history in Assam, Mizoram and Meghalaya.

“As per reliable information, he forged a death certificate in his own name to get his name removed from a criminal case in Mizoram Court,” the HANM leaders alleged.

They also alleged that Choudhury has more than 50 cases registered in the district of Karimganj alone.

The cases, the HANM leaders said, include heinous crimes like rape, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy, forgery, land grabbing, cheating, theft, assault on public servant, fake currency racket, and even cattle smuggling.

“He (Choudhury) is himself a part of coal and betel nut syndicate operating in Assam and is suspected to have links to drug mafia in Myanmar as well as terrorist groups in Bangladesh,” the HANM statement said.

Shadap and Suchen alleged that Abhijit Basumatary is a “known coal mafia at Beltola in Guwahati”.

“He (Basumatary) falsely claimed to Hon’ble Lokayukta that he is a resident of Dawki in West Jaintia Hills,” they alleged.

The HANM leaders claimed Basumatary is an original resident of Tezpur, and is settled in Guwahati.

They also alleged that Basumatary, along with Abdul Ahad Choudhury is involved in illegal transportation of coal and betelnut in Assam.

“They were trying to do the same in Meghalaya also and this conspiracy (complaint with Meghalaya Lokayukta) is part of that exercise,” the HANM leaders said.

The leaders of HANM also alleged that the ‘conduct of Meghalaya Lokayukta is also highly suspicious’ in the case.

“Reliable inputs indicate that the petitioner and his supporter approached Lokayukta sometime in the month of December and thereafter both before and after filing the complaint and a deal was finalized,” they said.

The HANM leaders said if illegal businesses are not conducted through Choudhury, he does not let anyone else do the same.

Otherwise also, it is a settled principle of law and propriety that the Judge has to be “unbiased” and cannot be in touch with either party, they alleged.

The HANM leaders claimed the East Jaintia Hills District is being targeted because the district administration and police have been very strict.

Almost 600 cases have been registered since 2014 in connection with illegal mining and transportation of coal and large numbers of vehicles have been seized and hundreds of persons have been arrested, they claimed.

The HANM leaders also said the coal mafia in Assam is suffering a lot due to the proactive approach of the Meghalaya government officials posted in the East Jaintia district.

“This is the reason for Abdul Ahad Choudhury to lodge this instant complaint so that the government officials are scared and allow his illegal acts,” they said.

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