Guwahati:6 arrested in Assam education scam produced before court | Azad Times

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Azad Times News Desk.

Guwahati: Six people who were arrested in connected to an alleged scam to the tune of Rs 105 crore in Assam’s State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), were produced before a special judge court here on Thursday.

The arrested persons are Rajesh Joshi, a Congress party leader, Lakhinarayan Sonowal, Jayanta Lahkar, Ramizuddin Ahmed, Saranga More and Rubul Ali.

The Special Vigilance Cell of the Chief Minister had arrested them on Wednesday.

Joshi is the son-in-law of suspended SCERT Director-in-Charge Sewali Devi Sarma, while Sonowal is the retired SCERT Deputy Director.

The other three detainees are SCERT employees.

All of the suspects in the case were taken into custody following a protracted interrogation that began on Wednesday morning. They were all thereafter sent for medical evaluations.

Sewali Devi Sarma, who was suspended recently, was the target of a search operation by the Vigilance Cell. However, she reportedly fled to avoid being apprehended.

Ajit Paul Singh, another relative of Sarma, was also found to be missing from his home.

The alleged 105-crore SCERT scam, according to sources, entails spending money under the guise of providing a Diploma in Elementary Education (D.El.Ed.) course through the Open Distance Learning (ODL) system.

The purported financial violations allegedly occurred between 2017 and 2022.

According to the sources, Sarma awarded majority of the contracts to her relatives, including her in-laws. Many of these companies’ Goods and Services Tax (GST) numbers were fraudulent.

Sarma is accused of moving money from the company’s bank accounts to the accounts of other employees before taking cash out of those accounts.

Additionally, it has come to light that she broke rules and regulations by opening 347 centres for the D.El.Ed. course through Open Distance Learning (ODL), which is 288 centres more than what the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) had authorised.

Allegedly bogus centres made up the majority of these.

The investigation, which is still ongoing, is anticipated to provide more information on the type of misappropriation and the degree to which other people were engaged.

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