CBI to quiz O Ibobi in MDS scam case today

NEWDELHI, 23rd Jun: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned Congress leader and former Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh for questioning on Wednesday in a case of Rs 332 crore alleged misappropriation of development funds between 2009 and 2017, when he was the chairman of Manipur Development Society (MDS), official sources said.
A CBI team has reached Imphal for questioning Ibobi Singh and other accused, who will be quizzed at the agency’s office on Wednesday, they said.
CBI had taken over the case on November 20 last year on the request of the state’s BJP government.
It is alleged that Ibobi Singh conspired with others during his tenure as the chairman of Manipur Development Society (MDS) from June 2009-July 2017, and misappropriated government funds worth approximately Rs 332 crore out of Rs 518 crore that was entrusted to them for the purpose of executing development work, according to the officials.
Along with Ibobi, CBI has also named three former MDS chairmen -- D S Poonia, PC Lawmkunga, O Nabakishore Singh -- all retired IAS officers.
Y Ningthem Singh, the former project director of the society and S Ranjit Singh, its administrative officer, have also been named in the FIR.
Other accused will also be called for questioning soon.
CBI had registered the case on the Manipur government’s request, which was routed through the Centre. In November 2019, the central probe agency raided the former chief minister’s residence at Thoubal Makha Leikai and his official quarters located at Babupara in Imphal in connection with alleged misappropriation of development funds, on request of the state government.
The CBI's action comes amidst political uncertainty in Manipur as the BJP-led coalition government under chief minister N Biren Singh plunged into trouble last Wednesday after nine MLAs, including four ministers from NPP, resigned.
Besides the NPP ministers, the rest five who tendered their resignations included three rebel BJP MLAs, the lone All Indian Trinamool Congress legislator and an Independent.
The newly-formed Congress-led Secular Progressive Front (SPF) has claimed that the government has lost majority in the house and demanded a trust vote.
The BJP, which had 21 MLAs, had joined hands with the NPP, Naga People's Front, an independent and a member each from the LJP and Trinamool Congress to form the government.
When asked about the timing of the questioning, the agency officials said it was part of an ongoing investigation in which some persons have already been examined.

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