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Tripura: Crime Branch registers corruption case against 10 TCA ex-executive

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Agartala: A week ahead of the apex council election of the Tripura Cricket Association (TCA), the Crime Branch of the state police on Wednesday night registered a case against 10 executives of the outgoing committee, including the former Secretary, Vice President, and Treasurer, for embezzlement of the TCA fund to the tune of around Rs 10 crore based on the prima facie evidence of the allegation.

Additional Superintendent of Police (Crime) Piya Madhuri Majumder, said complaints of corruption in TCA during the 2022–23 and 2023–24 financial years regarding the flood light installation in an upcoming cricket stadium were lodged last year, following which the committee was forced to step down and the fresh election process began.

Police said the previous committee’s secretary, Tapash Ghosh, Vice President Timir Chanda, Treasurer Joylal Das, Executive Engineer Tarun Kumar Das, Assistant Engineer Arunabha Nath, and Rahad Sarkar, apex council Sumanta Deb Roy, Zonal Sales Manager of Kolkata-based Signify Innovations India Ltd., Indranil Putatunda, and two others of Lighting Solution were under sections 120(B)/409/420 of the IPC.

The TCA had been dogged by ugly controversies and factionalism for the last five years, and of late, the squabble reached a point of no return—ultimately, the issue culminated in a criminal case. Allegedly, the accused persons dishonestly and fraudulently misappropriated a huge amount from TCA in the execution of the design, testing, and installation of LED lights (floodlights).

This one project itself cost a loss of more than Rs 7 crore to TCA, which the accused persons otherwise gained wrongfully, police said, adding that there were instances of several other financial irregularities detected in the course of the inquiry carried out by the SIT on the instruction of the High Court of Tripura.

Meanwhile, the apex council election of the Tripura Cricket Association (TCA), scheduled to be held on February 15, has triggered a fresh controversy after the enrollment of the ruling BJP’s State General Secretary Amit Rakshit in the electoral roll, violating the party’s decision, reportedly with the support of the accused persons of the previous committee.

The BJP insiders said the party has prohibited the portfolio holders from engaging in TCA functioning, abiding by the recommendations of Justice Lodha’s panel to keep sports out of direct political influence and bring the game into repute. However, Rakshit’s entry into TCA functioning indicated a factional fight in the state BJP against the Chief Minister, it claimed.

TCA members alleged that Rakshit has been misusing his political position to garner votes in his favour and complained, “Rakshit is threatening the voters with dire consequences unless they support him, as he will be the Secretary of TCA for the next three years besides the BJP’s post.”

A BJP state executive attributed that, as per the practice, the party implemented one post for one individual, and as a result, the present Chief Minister had to resign from TCA after becoming the party president. Afterwards, the direct involvement of the frontline party functionary in TCA was not evident until Rakshit’s nomination.

According to him, the corrupt gang of the last committee has brought Rakshit to play pressure tactics to avoid an election and adjust some of the nominees of the previous committee in the new apex council so that the ongoing investigation of corruption would get diluted.

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