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Amid political crisis in Manipur, CBI summons ex-CM Ibobi Singh in Rs 332 crore misappropriation case

NEW DELHI: The

CBI

has summoned Congress leader and former Manipur chief minister O

Ibobi Singh

for questioning on Wednesday in the Rs 332-crore alleged misappropriation of development funds between 2009 and 2017, when he was the chairman of the Manipur Development Society, officials said.

A CBI team from the agency headquarters here has reached Imphal to question Singh and other accused, they said.

While Singh has been asked to appear on Wednesday, other accused will be called in coming days, they said.

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.

The 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 the 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 development works, according to the officials.

Along with Singh, the CBI has also named three former MDS chairmen — D S Poonia, PC Lawmuknga, 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.

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24th June 2020