Assam scam accused files poll papers from jail

Guwahati, Mar 18 (IANS) Mohit Hojai, one of the key accused in a Rs.1,000-crore financial scam, Thursday filed his nomination papers from jail for the Assam assembly elections as a representative of a regional party, which is an ally of the main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).

Hojai, who has also been formally charged in court by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the case, has been nominated as candidate for the Haflong assembly constituency in Assam's North Cachar Hills district by the Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC).

Hojai was arrested in 2009.

The NIA, which investigates terror related crimes, has come up with startling revelations that government funds worth millions of rupees have been going to the coffers of a separatist group in Assam.

The findings point to a politician-militant-bureaucrat-contractor nexus in Assam.

The NIA, in its second charge sheet submitted in the court of special judge in Guwahati Oct 18, said elected members of the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) helped the outlawed Jewel Garlosa faction of the Dima Halim Daogah (DHD-J) siphon off government funds.

'The main activity of the DHD-J after 2006 was to siphon off government funds through extortion with the help of elected members of the council, contractors and government servants, in order to finance their subversive activities,' says the NIA charge sheet, a copy of which is available with IANS.

Among the 16 people formally charged by the NIA are Hojai, a politician, bureaucrat R.H. Khan, who was the deputy director of the social welfare department, contractor Jibangshu Paul, and DFD-J leader Jewel Garolosa.

Hojai's candidature could possibly weaken the AGP's vow to make the Rs.1,000 crore financial scam an election issue to pin down the ruling Congress.

'The AGP has joined hands with the ASDC and you find the prime accused in the Rs.1,000 crore scam nominated as candidate of the ASDC and AGP silently supporting the whole dirty game,' a senior Congress leader said.