File photo of Mukul Sangma

Opposition in Meghalaya, Congress, on November 27 accused the National People’s Party (NPP)-led government of scuttling investigations into cyber firm owned by chief minister Conrad Sangma and his family, involved in an alleged international racket of duping people.

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Leader of opposition in the Meghalaya assembly and senior Congress leader, Mukul Sangma raised this issue and said that investigation officers probing of the SS Netcom cases have been transferred to scuttle the investigation.

“When I was chief minister, a case was registered in respect of ‘one illegality’ which was going on, that whole global network which was operating across the globe India and unfortunately including Meghalaya from the premises of SS Netcom,” Mukul Sangma told reporters in Shillong.

“Now, who is the owner of this SS Netcom? The board members are Conrad Sangma, James Sangma (power minister) and their other family members,” he said.

The former chief minister said that he did not interfere with the case which was registered while he was leading the government, saying that, “we believe in our judiciary and in our administration of justice. Any process of law must not be interfered upon in order to ensure that law is allowed to take its own course.”

“Now after the election, there has been a change of government but a change of government or no change of government, the process of law must continue as they should but what has happened is that I am afraid it is not happening as there is an attempt to derail this whole process of investigation in as far as this case is concerned,” Mukul said.

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Quoting a letter written by then (2019) East Khasi Hills district superintendent of police to the DIG eastern range, Sangma said two officers who were investigating into the SS Netcom case registered with Laitumkhrah police station on August 28, 2017, were transferred.

“I have a copy of this letter written by the then SP of East Khasi Hills, Shillong dated February 1, last year which says: The case was registered with Laitumkhrah police station on August 28, 2017, which is before the election for allegedly running a fake call centre in the premises of SS Netcom,” the veteran Congress leader said.

Giving the background of this case, Mukul said that SS Netcom has recruited some job seekers for IT-enabled services from Shillong and from Meghalaya and Northeast.

“These recruited job seekers were then trained in Ahmedabad by one fake company called IFA (Irfan, Faizal and Amit) and interestingly Faizal Khan is the fake name of Sunny Mukherjee. When people intend to engage in criminal activities people take fake names,” Mukul Sangma alleged.

“Now this IFA was rented out premises by SS Netcom. Before you rent out your premises to anybody wouldn’t you try to verify? Are they so novice and at the same not only renting out but they also trained these youth who were recruited by the same organization and they were brought to Shillong and same trained people were again asked to train some more boys and girls and that is how it came to be known,” the Congress leader said.

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“The whole issue revolves around training these youth to engage in criminal activities which is the most dangerous thing. I am afraid if our youth are engaged to be trained in these international networks who are engaging in these kinds of criminal activities, that means you are only training your youth to be criminals. There are much deeper things which need to be unearthed,” the Congress leader said, even as he expressed surprise as to why the government is not convening the state security committee meeting despite raising the issue in the assembly also.

“Police officers are not vested with the responsibility of daily law and order related challenges, they are also responsible for investigation and charge-sheeting of cases and the perpetrators of crimes,” the former chief minister said.

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