The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday searched the residence of Congress leader and former Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, PTI reported. The searches were conducted after a case was filed against Singh and others for allegedly misappropriating Rs 332 crore of government funds in connection with the Manipur Development Society scam, officials said.
The agency recovered Rs 11.47 lakh in cash and Rs 26.49 lakh in demonetised currency during the raids at nine locations in Manipur’s capital city Imphal, Aizawl in Mizoram, and Gurugram in Haryana. Singh’s residences and those of former secretaries were also searched.
Officials said certain branded items and eight luxury vehicles were found during the raids. The CBI’s first information report, filed on Wednesday, named Singh, former bureaucrats DS Poonia, PC Lawmuknga and O Nabakishore Singh, then project director of Manipur Development Society Y Ningthem Singh and the society’s administrative officer S Ranjit Singh, according to the Hindustan Times.
“It was alleged that the accused, while working as Chairman of Manipur Development Society from June 30, 2009, to July 6, 2017, in conspiracy with others, misappropriated government funds to the tune of Rs 332 crore out of the total amount of Rs 518 crore which was entrusted to them for the purpose of executing development work,” the CBI said in a statement on Friday. Singh served as the Manipur chief minister between 2002 and 2017.
Singh agreed to cooperate with the investigating agency. “Let them investigate and after that the facts and findings will come out whether I am involved or not,” he said.
Banned notes worth Rs 10 lakh were also recovered from the then project director of Manipur Development Society. An unidentified official claimed he had two luxurious houses in Imphal.
On September 1, 2017, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in the state had filed two FIRs in the case over alleged irregularities. The CBI took over the investigation on Wednesday.
The Manipur government’s vigilance investigation had said that since Singh was the chairman of the Manipur Development Society between July 2013 and August 2014, he would have to be examined.