Itanagar: The additional deputy commissioner (ADC), Lower Siang, Sode Potom has been suspended from service by the government of Arunachal Pradesh in connection with the land compensation scam in Anjaw district.
Earlier, the Special Investigation Cell (SIC) of the Arunachal Pradesh Police arrested the then Anjaw, ADC, Sode Potom and Choliangso Kora, a resident of Tezu, in connection with the infamous “land mafia scam” last month.
Sources in the government revealed that Kora who was arrested earlier by the SIC had a bank account transfer of Rs 7.5 crore from one of the beneficiaries of the land compensation.
On the same day, Rs 1.5 cr was transferred from Choliangso Kora’s bank account to ADC Sode Potom’s account, said the sources.
When contacted superintendent of police, SIC, Harsha Vardhan, said that both were brought to Itanagar under three days police remand for interrogation.
“Three days were not at all enough for us that too for a case of this magnitude,” said the SP.
“We are summoning several individuals for interrogation as the investigation is still going on; however, Kunje Drai, one of the prime accused, is absconding as of now,” he said.
“We will solve this case very soon as all the evidence especially the bank transactions, clearly tells the story,” the SP said.
Last month Potom and Kora were arrested 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. Later, they were out on bail.
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 landowners, 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.