Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma Thursday said the government will launch a crackdown on the reported illegal areca nut (supari) syndicate and asked a Guwahati-based media conglomerate to share complaints with adequate proof regarding the illegal trade with police.
The Assam Finance Minister said this outside the Kamrup Sessions Court where he had gone to record his statement in connection with a defamation case he had filed against KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi in 2011.
“Pratidin group had published and telecast news about an illegal supari trade following which the Kamrup SP initiated an investigation. However, when the media house was told to provide evidence they had about the supari syndicate with police, they backtracked. Let them share the evidence they have and the government will take action within an hour. The issue concerns Kamrup district and I am an elected representative of the district,” Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
It may be mentioned here that Kamrup SP Partha Sarathi Mahanta had earlier filed two defamation cases against the media group and sought Rs 200 crore as damages for news reports published and telecast against him and his wife, CID SSP Indrani Baruah who had also filed a separate Rs 100 crore defamation case against the media group.