‘Ex-ministers tied to Assam scam’

The Asian Age.  | manoj anand

India, Crime

Main accused says he paid leaders, journalists to buy their silence.

Security sources said the police already initiated the process of summoning all those named.

Guwahati: Former Assam public service commission (APSC) chairperson Rakesh Paul, who was arrested in a cash-for-jobs scam, has named several high-profile journalists and former ministers who he claimed to have paid in order to keep quiet about the scam.

Referring Paul’s confession in police custody, authoritative sources in the police department told this newspaper that “a media baron allegedly got Rs 10 lakh from Mr Paul, while another managing editor of a media organisation was paid Rs 4 lakh in one instalment”.

According to what Paul told the police, the media baron, had received the money through senior management personnel at his organisation.

Police sources said that Paul, who is the prime accused in the cash-for-jobs scam, claimed to have paid big amounts of money to more than one high-profile former ministers from the Congress party. He also said that a Guwahati-based TV journalist was given a job by the APSC, sources said.

In an obvious bid to pacify the ongoing protest against corruption in the APSC, Paul had also paid Rs 2 lakh to a prominent social activist who was mobilising public protests against him, sources said.

Paul also told investigators that he paid Rs 20 lakh personally to a former minister from the Congress. The former APSC chairperson also named a number of other senior Congress leaders who he used to meet frequently during his tenure as chairperson. Paul also informed the police how family members of politicians got jobs despite performing poorly in the competitive examination conducted by the commission.

Security sources said the police already initiated the process of summoning all those named.

Meanwhile, bail applications for all five accused arrested in the case, including Rakesh Paul, Samedur Rahman and Basanta Doley, who are languishing in judicial custody, came up for hearing at the Gauhati high court on Wednesday.

The case diary in question was also placed before the court by the police, which is opposing bail for the accused.