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Part of northeast funds goes to
militants: Minister


Vinayak Ganapathy in Guwahati | May 31, 2003 22:19 IST

Union minister for development of northeast, C P Thakur on Saturday said about ten per cent of the region's development funds find their way to militant groups.

Thakur remark at a press conference in Guwahati comes close on the heels of the Union home ministry's North East Study Group saying that politicians and ministers in the region pay money to insurgents.

Thakur said he was yet to receive any documentary evidence supporting complaints of funds flowing into the hands of the insurgents.

If the complaints received by Thakur are true then at least Rs 10 crores go out just from the department of Development of the Northeastern Region.

This ministry had last year disbursed Rs 550 crore for various development projects in the region, while another Rs 500 crore was spent by the North Eastern Council, he said.

In April, the Study Group had clearly stated that chief ministers in the region spend about Rs 1.1 million per legislator per month to avoid political instability, and this 'slush money' comes from various sources.

These sources, according to the group, include state funds, extortions through setting up of check gates and commissions on supplies and recruitments etc.

"Money is also required to pay off the insurgent groups or to allow them to raise taxes," the group said.

Thakur was probably only corroborating the Study Group's statement, which also said that a 'parallel system of governance by both insurgents and the ministers, MLAs, bureaucracy and police' had resulted from this.

"Insurgency helps getting money from the central government, and collections by insurgents are also very high," the Study Group had stated.


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