Woman official arrested in Tripura multi-crore scam

Agartala, July 16 (IANS) A senior Tripura education department woman official was arrested for allegedly embezzling more than Rs.4 crore from a central government scheme, police said here on Thursday.

“Ambalika Datta, education department deputy director and in-charge of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), was arrested on Wednesday,” a senior police officer said.

The state government had lodged an FIR in the multi-crore scam against several officials.

“Education Department Additional Director Dilip Kumar Debbarma was suspended earlier from service for his reported involvement in the multi-crore scam,” another official of the education department said.

Both police and the education department are independently probing the misappropriation of funds.

The official said both Datta and Debbarma were also involved in issuing an order to purchase books written by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and former chief secretary Sanjay Kumar Panda, now the secretary of the union textiles ministry.

The order, which was issued without taking permission from the appropriate authority, had asked the district education department officials to purchase the two books out of the annual grant provided to 839 schools by RMSA during the 2013-14 fiscal.

The issue has created a political storm in the state.

Education department cashier Arnab Chakraborty was also arrested on September 13 from West Bengal for his suspected involvement in siphoning off over Rs.4 crore sanctioned by the central government for the implementation of RMSA.

Chakraborty, who is now in Tripura Police custody, was diverting official funds to his personal bank account by forging signatures of senior officials and then transferring the money through the e-banking system to sex workers in Kolkata.

Police found wrongdoing in the more than Rs.4 crore allocated by the union government’s human resource development ministry under the RMSA.

The opposition parties, including the Congress, have demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into all the scams unearthed during the regime of the Left Front government in Tripura.

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