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Assam eviction drive: Arrested Congress legislator now held by CM’s SVC for “misappropriating government funds”

A release from the CM’s SVC said that the case was related to the misappropriation of funds worth Rs 25,08,323 for a road construction project of Rs 65 lakh under the MLALAD scheme in Mandia Block under Baghbar constituency

Written by Tora Agarwala | Guwahati |
Updated: October 9, 2021 7:58:05 am
Suspended Congress legislator Sherman Ali Ahmed (Facebook/@shermanaliahmed)

Days after he was arrested for his “controversial remarks” on eight people killed in February 1983, suspended Congress legislator Sherman Ali Ahmed was on Friday apprehended in another case by the Chief Minister’s Special Vigilance Cell (SVC) for allegedly “misappropriating government funds” in a developmental project in Barpeta district.

“He has been arrested and is in our custody for five days. It is a case in relation to misappropriation of government funds in a developmental project,” Rosie Kalita, Superintendent of Police, SVC told The Indian Express.

A release from the CM’s SVC said that the case was related to the misappropriation of funds worth Rs 25,08,323 for a road construction project of Rs 65 lakh under the MLALAD scheme in Mandia Block under Baghbar constituency, which Ahmed represents.

“A criminal case had been registered on June 4, 2021, under sections 120 (B)/406/420/409/468/471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) R/W Section 13 (2) PC Act,” it said.

The investigation found “sufficient evidence” against seven people, including Ahmed. Six of them, which included government officers, were apprehended on June 28. “The investigation of the case led to the fact that accused Sherman Ali, MLA, Baghbar LAC criminally conspired with the other co-accused persons as well as other arrested accused persons,” the release said.

Kalita confirmed that he was arrested by the SVC when he was being produced before the Special Judge court in Guwahati for the hearing.

Ahmed was earlier arrested on Saturday by the Guwahati Police for his ‘controversial statements’ on eight Assamese youths, who were killed in February 1983 during the Assam Agitation. On Monday, the Assam Congress suspended the three-time legislator from the party for “repeatedly violating the party’s discipline”. Ahmed had been charged by the city police under sections 504 and 505(2) of the IPC.

Controversy erupted after Ahmed made comments on the February 1983 killing of eight Assamese youths near the Sipajhar area — where violence during the recent eviction drive left two, including a 12-year-old, dead. In a purported video clip, the MLA said that the eight people who died during the 1983 violence (at Chalkhowa in Darrang district) were not “martyrs” but “killers”, since they were also responsible for the death of many others from the Miya (Bengali-speaking Muslim) community. The eight killed in 1983 are among those who many Assamese believe “sacrificed their lives” during the agitation.

The Assam Police had said that they received a number of complaints from different organisations regarding the statement.

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