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Assam: DIET employee arrested by CM vigilance cell in connection with SCERT scam

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Guwahati, June 1: The Chief Minister’s Special Vigilance Cell on Thursday arrested an employee of the District Institution of Information and Training (DIET) from Howly in Assam’s Barpeta district in connection with State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) scam.

The accused employee has been identified as Sonmoni Nath. Nath is accused of blackmailing and extorting money from Sewali Devi Sharma.

Sewali Devi Sharma, who was arrested earlier this month, had confessed to the Vigilance Cell that she had been blackmailed by several RTI activists and journalists who had threatened to expose her involvement in the scam.

She is the prime suspect in the scam that involves embezzlement of Rs 105 crore from the SCERT funds.

The scam came to light after an audit report revealed irregularities and misappropriation of funds in the SCERT during 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Speaking to reporters, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that there are around 12 people who have been found to be involved in the scam and most of them are RTI activists and journalists by profession.

Sarma also revealed that there had been a direct transfer of funds from the government’s treasury to journalists’ personal bank accounts.

The SCERT is a state-level body that deals with curriculum development, teacher training and educational research.


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