SHILLONG, Jan 05: Days after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) booked her in connection with the education scam, a disturbed Ampareen Lyngdoh, PWD Minister, on Friday expressed her readiness to fight the case and prove her innocence.
The CBI has booked Lyngdoh, who was then the Education Minister of the state, and the additional chief secretary PS Thangkhiew over the alleged manipulation of score sheets in the recruitment of teachers in 2008-09.
Cabinet minister Ampareen Lyngdoh on Friday questioned the CBI’s action just before elections even as she vowed to fight back and prove that she is innocent.
“Why all this has happen just before the model code of conduct should be announced. It foxes me well. I don’t want to say more,” Lyngdoh told media persons at the sidelines of a party function here on Friday.
Acting on the order passed by the Meghalaya High Court, the CBI has registered the FIR under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy, forgery, criminal breach of trust against Lyngdoh and Thangkhiew, who was then Principal Secretary.
Stating that she is determined to fight the case, she said, “I will fight the case. I don’t know what kind of a case it will turn out to be as I myself will still learn. I am still going to learn as the sequences of events unfold,” adding “I am already in touch with lawyers both in Shillong as well as in Delhi.”
Expressing that it was a painful and heartbreaking experience for her in the past nine and a half years, she said, “I have never expressed these feelings of remorse I have inside me but today I feel I should express them. To me as a layman in this country I feel this is a great opportunity of being heard. I will be heard by the CBI, and I look at it as an opportunity where I will be able to take my stand on my own involvement in the entire education matter.”
Informing that she only came to learn of her being booked by CBI from media reports, the minister said, “I am told that I will be getting an official communication, so I am waiting for that official communication to come.”
However, Lyngdoh maintained that from day one she has stood ground and said, “I am innocent” even as she expressed confidence that the judiciary system of the country will protect the rights of all citizens on equal footing and on equal ground.
Meanwhile, the two-time sitting legislator of East Shillong constituency (erstwhile Laitumkhrah) said that she would still file her nomination to contest for the upcoming Assembly polls.
“I know that like any other Indian citizens in a democratic set up I too will file my nomination and will try my best to fight for the elections to be able to serve the people as an MLA,” she said.
However, the minister expressed fear that certain forces may attempt to deny her to fight the upcoming elections.
“And I am praying that no forces will try to deny me of the right to file for my nomination because like every other citizens in the country I too have a right to represent my people, I too have the right to contest,” she said.
Claiming that she has got the support of her party, she said, “I am backed by my party, I belong to a national party, a party whose leaders have all had to face these kinds of allegations… I am not a loner in the Congress party to be branded and accused of being corrupt.”
Moreover, the legislator also expressed belief that the law of the land will prevail and said, “I will take this as an opportunity to prove to all that I am innocent.”
“The law of the land will stand supreme and like any other citizen I too will be conditioned to the same law and I am not above law, I am a law abiding citizen. I will conform, I will cooperate and if situation arises, I too have a space to fight for my rights,” she affirmed.