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File image|In November 2019, EastMojo was the first to unearth the high-profile scam which had all the elements to put the country's national security under threat
ARUNACHAL PRADESH

Arunachal land mafia scam near China border: 2 including ADC held

Sode Potom, then Anjaw ADC, and Choliangso Kora, a resident of Tezu, arrested in connection with alleged high-profile multi-crore land compensation scam in Arunachal Pradesh

Irani Sonowal Lepcha

Irani Sonowal Lepcha

Itanagar: The Special Investigation Cell (SIC) of the Arunachal Pradesh Police has arrested the then Anjaw additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Sode Potom and Choliangso Kora, a resident of Tezu, in connection with the infamous "land mafia scam".

The arrests come almost six months after EastMojo had in November last year unearthed the high-profile scam that had all the elements necessary to put the country's national security under threat.

A land compensation controversy that took place between 2017 and 2019 had mired the construction of an ambitious 9.5-km road project connecting remote Chaglagam village to Rocham in Arunachal’s Anjaw district bordering China.

As per the land owners, the money sanctioned for the project did not reach them following an alleged “signature campaign” run by some vested individuals to gain power of attorney for land compensation from the beneficiaries.

Whereas Kora's name and those of a few others were also highlighted by the villagers of being a part of the alleged signature campaign, ADC Potom's name cropped up after the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) transferred the compensation amount in the ADC’s account when it should have been transferred into the DC’s account.

Out of the total amount of Rs 24 crore sanctioned by the Union defence ministry, only Rs 2.21 crore was allegedly paid to the beneficiaries.

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File image In order to strengthen forward areas of Arunachal Pradesh, an ambitious 9.5-km Border Roads Task Force road connecting remote Chaglagam village to Rocham in Anjaw district was sanctioned by the Union defence ministry in 2014

The SIC team arrested Potom from Likabali, the headquarters of Lower Siang district, where he is currently posted as the ADC, while Kora was picked up by the team from Anjaw.

Confirming the arrests, SIC's superintendent of police Harsha Vardhan said the duo are now in police custody in Tezu, the headquarters of Lohit district.

He, however, refused to comment more on the case while saying said that the investigation is still on.

Lohit SP DW Thungon said that the accused were produced in the district sessions court on Saturday and were sent in police remand for three days.

If sources are to be believed, the accused are being brought to Itanagar for further investigation.

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