September 26, 2023

Two scribes face corruption charges & arrests

Guwahati: A number of Guwahati-based scribes and RTI (right to information) activists have been facing interrogation and even arrest by Assam chief minister’s special vigilance cell following the allegations of Sewali Devi Sharma, the prime accused in Rs 105 crore State council of educational research and training (SCERT) scam, as being blackmailers to her in different occasions. The arrestees include a lady reporter (identified as Pujamoni Das alias Honey Kashyap, who reportedly took a large volume of money from Ms Sharma) along with a satellite news channel reporter named Bhaskarjyoti Hazarika.  RTI activists namely Rabijit Gogoi (who pretended to be a journalist) and Maina Saikia alias Anup Saikia were also arrested.
Ms Sharma, IAS (now suspended), revealed that a number of journalists and RTI activists used to blackmail her, and she even paid no less than Rs ten crores to them. She was picked up from the hide out (a hotel in Rajasthan) on 8 May last and brought back to Assam on transit remand. Currently, she is under judicial custody along with nine others including her son-in-law Ajit Pal Singh, daughter Bijeta Sharma, Rahul Amin, etc. There is a possibility that many more scribes and RTI activists will face the music very soon.
In another front, some city-based television journalists are also alleged to be involved in the NRC (national register of citizens) updation scam in the State. Though the mainstream media has not reported about the scam adequately, the social media users have taken the lead. They made it loud and clear that those corrupt media persons have cheated the people of Assam in a mission to have a correct NRC (under monitoring of the Supreme Court of India). It emerges as a matter of serious concern, as many media persons are apprehended to be grilled by the authority on corruption charges in the coming days.

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