Total Pageviews

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jobs are on sale in PSC: Tarigami

I’ll speak to Chairman to set the system right: CM

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

JAMMU, Mar 23: Even as Special Judge anticorruption in Srinagar has directed State Vigilance Organisation (SVO) to proceed with an inquiry into allegations of unfair means in recent selection of Assistant Veterinary Surgeons, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today assured Legislative Assembly that he would personally speak to Chairman of Jammu & Kashmir Public Service Commission (PSC) to set the system right. Chief Minister was responding to CPI (M) State Secretary and MLA Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami’s impression that jobs were on sale in the PSC.

During his speech on grants of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s portfolios, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami expressed his serious concern over loss of faith of the young generation into the credibility of the state’s recruitment agencies.

“There is a wide perception among our educated youth today that jobs are on sale in the Public Service Commission. I have very compelling reasons to believe that there is little difference between this perception and the reality as the rules and procedures have been violated in recent selections. What’s the justification of reserving 50% of marks for interview and examining your own relatives? Why don’t we find such a perception vis-à-vis Competent Authority for Entrance Examinations that makes selection of candidates for all professional degree courses? We must realize that even a mere public perception is often as harmful as the reality”, Tarigami asserted.

Tarigami said that he had personally faith in integrity of the PSC Chairman, S L Bhat but at the same time he was flooded with serious complaints and reliable reports of wrongdoing during the selection process. He emphasized that something serious and urgent needed to be done to redeem the image of the institution that was responsible for selection of cream of the public services in Jammu & Kashmir. “This is the question of our young generation’s future. Their despair would not augur well for the state”, he added. According to him, it was an extremely serious matter that credibility of the PSC had become suspect and the youth were losing faith in the institution.

In sharp contrast to his tweeting away the Early Times series on the PSC’s worst ever selection process, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah assured Tarigami on the floor of the House today that he would personally speak to his colleagues in the government and Chairman of PSC to set the system right. He said that he was seized of the matter as the complaints pouring in to Mr Tarigami were also routed to him. He assured the people of the state through Assembly that credibility of the PSC as also faith of the young generation into the autonomous institution would be preserved with necessary corrective measures.

Meanwhile, disposing a petition filed by parents of eight of the dropped candidates, Special Judge Anticorruption Kashmir, Rasheed Ali Dar, has directed respondent Commissioner of Vigilance to proceed with an inquiry into the allegations of corruption and other unfair means leveled by the petitioners.

After recording statements of the complainants, the court in Srinagar ordered: “It has been admitted in the complaint by the complainant that the Vigilance Organization is making probe of the allegations which form subject matter of the complaint. Taking note of the same, the complaint is forwarded for further necessary action to the Vigilance Organization which shall proceed in the matter in the light of Standing instructions governing the said organization”.

The parents of the highly meritorious candidates, who have been dropped in the selection, have sought in the petition registration of a criminal matter by State Vigilance Organisation against the PSC functionaries associated with the process.

The selection has been already stayed by Mr Justice Hasnain Masoodi of Jammu & Kashmir High Court.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The State-sponsored freedom movement!

Govt spends Rs 24 Lakh of Indian tax-payers’ money on fuel of Kashmir azadi vehicles

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

JAMMU, Mar 22: They call it ‘Pakistan-sponsored separatist movement’ and ‘Islamabad’s proxy war’ but government functionaries in Jammu & Kashmir have burnt midnight oil in broad daylight to facilitate the movement of Kashmir’s separatist leaders during turmoil of 2008 and 2010. In reply to a cut motion on grants of Home Department and Security Related Expenditure (SRE), Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today revealed in Legislative Assembly that Government had spent over Rs 24 Lakh on the fuel of official vehicles provided to the separatist leaders.

Without interpretations, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah disclosed in response to an opposition MLA’s cut motion that Government of Jammu & Kashmir had taken upon itself responsibility of not only providing Police protection and bulletproof cars not only to the Valley’s separatist leaders but also to their successors in the families and other relatives. Entire money spent on the facilitation was coming in from millions of the Indian tax-payers through Union Home Ministry. He made it clear on the floor of the House that three successive governments of Ghulam Nabi Azad, Governor Narendar Nath Vohra and Omar Abdullah had spent an amount of Rs 24 Lakh to facilitate the movement of these separatist leaders through the turbulence of 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Giving details, Chief Minister said in a written reply that Government of Jammu & Kashmir had spent an amount of Rs 7,78,907 on the plain Gypsy and bullet-proof car provided by Security Wing of J&K Police to the senior separatist leader Maulvi Abbas Ansari from 2008 to 2010. He said that Rs 1,68,511 was spent on the fuel of the Police Gypsy provided to Chairman of Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. According to Chief Minister, an amount of Rs 2,58,022 was spent on the escort Gypsy and bulletproof car provided to another senior separatist leader, namely Aga Syed Hassan.

During same period of turbulence, expenditure was Rs 2,76,360 on the escort Gypsy of senior Hurriyat leader, Bilal Gani Lone and Rs 2,10,451 on the one provided to hijacker-turned-separatist leader Hashim Qureishi. In the reply, Sajjad Gani Lone has also been clubbed with the separatist leaders though he contested Lok Sabha elections of 2009. An amount of Rs 4,38,920 has been shown as expenditure on the escort Gypsy provided to him. Expenditure on the escort Gypsies provided to Saleem Geelani and Zaffar Akbar Bhat has been mentioned as Rs 1,76,898 and Rs 76,790 respectively. Interestingly, one-time “Divisional Commander” of Hizbul Mujahideen, Zaffar Akbar Bhat had played a key role in generating an anti-India and anti-J&K Police wave during the turbulent weeks of 2008.

Giving details about the Police protection provided to Maulvi Abbas Ansari, Chief Minister said that one Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI), two Head Constables (HCs), three Selection Grade Constables (Sgct) and three Constables were guarding the Hurriyat leader and his house in Srinagar. They were in addition to the Police officials provided by District Police Lines Srinagar for Access Control (AC) at the separatist leader’s house, escort personnel and drivers of one escort Gypsy and one bulletproof vehicle.

While as the senior Hurriyat leader has been placed in the high security category of ‘Z’, his successor-son Masroor Abbas enjoys protection under ‘Y’ category. One constable has been attached to him as Personal Security Officer.

Chaiman of the Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, enjoys ‘Z’ category of security. He has been provided as many as five escort and other vehicles as also an Access Control with CCTV. Chief Minister said that one Inspector and nine Constables of J&K Police were guarding the Hurriyat Chairman. He said that one PSO had also been provided to Mirwaiz Umar’s maternal uncle, Maulvi Manzoor, who is a retired Chief Engineer of Power Development Department.

Even the brother-in-law of Mirwaiz Umar, Abdul Majid Drabu, has been placed in ‘X’ category of security and three Constables have been provided to him for the purpose of security. Interestingly, Drabu is a junior engineer who has been attached to a key posting in Civil Secretariat reportedly on the recommendations of a Cabinet Minister.

Placed in ‘Z’ category, Aga Syed Hassan has been provided one escort Gypsy, one bulletproof car, one Access Control guard and four PSOs. Chief Minister’s reply, however, does not mention Police guards provided for the separatist leader’s house from District Police Budgam.  Besides, according to Chief Minister, Aga’s brother, Syed Abul Hassan Mustafa, has been provided two Constables and one SPO. He stands placed in ‘X’ category. Interestingly, volume of the security provided to Aga Syed Hassan’s son-in-law, Aga Ruhullah, who is a Minister in Omar Abdullah’s Cabinet, is no match to that of his separatist father-in-law.

Former Hurriyat Chairman, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, has refused to accept Access Control at his house in Botengo, Sopore, as also a bulletproof car offered to him. He has, however, accepted two Constables for his Access Control at his house in Wazirbagh (Srinagar) besides four Constables and one Selection Grade Constable for his personal security.

Placed in ‘Z’ category, Bilal Gani Lone has been provided one Constable and five Sgcts, joint access control and an escort Gypsy. One escort Gypsy and 12 personnel have been provided to Hashim Qureishi, who is facing charges of hijacking an Indian Airlines plane that was set on fire and destroyed at Lahore Airport in 1971.

Syed Saleem Geelani of Hurriyat (Mirwaiz) has been provided one escort vehicle and two Constables for his personal security. He stands placed in ‘Y’ category. Seven Policemen have been deployed on the protection of one-time Chief Commander of Hizbullah, Shahidul Islam, who is now working with Hurriyat (Mirwaiz).

Even as 17 of the separatist leaders and their relatives have been provided government security cover and transport, JKLF Chairman Yasin Malik (‘Z’), Fazal Haq Qureshi (‘Z’), DFP chief Shabir Shah (‘Y’), National Front chief Nayeem Khan (‘Y’) and Chairman of so-called hardline faction of Hurriyat, Syed Ali Shah Geelani (‘Y’) have not accepted any security cover or bulletproof cars from the government.