Amid COVID-19 pandemic and current power tussle in Manipur, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday summoned Congress leader and former chief minister Okram Ibobi for questioning in a scam worth Rs 332 crore.
The CBI team reached Imphal for questioning Ibobi and other accused in the alleged misappropriation of development funds between 2009 and 2017 when he was the chairman of the Manipur Development Society, official source said.
It may be mentioned that CBI had taken over the case on November 20, 2019, on the request of N Biren-led Manipur government. In the misappropriation case of Rs 332 crore, it was stated that overall, funds totaling to Rs 518 crore were entrusted to the MDS for the purpose of executing development work. Besides Ibobi, three former MDS chairperson, DS Poonia, PC Lawmkunga, O Nabakishore and administrative officer S Ranjit have also been named in the CBI FIR. Other accused will also be called for questioning soon, official sources said.
CBI conducted simultaneous raids at the officials and private residences of the former Manipur chief minister in Imphal and Thoubal in 2019. The five-hour long raids pertaining to Rs 186.79 crore scam in Manipur Development Society during Ibobi’s tenure as chief minister (2002-2007).
The alleged misappropriation was related to funds meant for infrastructure for water sports in Loktak Lake. Ibobi had earlier termed the charges as “fabricated”. Ahead of the last assembly election, the BJP which now heads the state’s ruling coalition had promised to get the scam probed.