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Friday, February 3, 2012

MLA demands CBI probe, Minister’s arrest in BOSE scam

‘If Saroori was fired in 24 hours, what’s CM’s weakness in Peerzada?’

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Feb 2: Independent MLA and one-time ally of the Omar Abdullah-led coalition government, Engineer Sheikh Abdul Rashid, today demanded immediate dismissal and arrest of the School Education Minister, Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, in the lately exposed ‘Unfair Means Scam’ of J&K State Board of School Education. Raising questions on Chief Minister’s “double standards”, Rashid desired to know why former Minister of Works, G M Saroori, had been dismissed from the Cabinet before the inquiry and why action against Peerzada, in an identical matter, would depend on the outcome of an inquiry.

Breaking the Opposition’s silence with a news conference, Engineer Rashid pointed out that senior Congress leader and then Minister incharge Works, G M Saroori, had been dismissed from the Cabinet by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah within 24 hours of the exposure of an impersonation case allegedly involving his daughter in 2010. “Now that an identical scandal has been exposed by media and Peerzada Sayeed’s son has been found to be the illegal beneficiary of the Board’s undue favour, why doesn’t Omar Sahab act against the Education Minister?” Rashid asked. He asserted that Omar Abdullah government could not have different standards for different Ministers in identical matters.

Congress party’s MLA from Inderwal, Mr Saroori, had been dismissed as Minister of Works in the middle of 2010 when an impostor had been found to be appearing for his daughter in an entrance test at ASSCOMS (Batra Hospital) in Jammu. Srinagar-based daily, Greater Kashmir, has earlier this week reported that BOSE officials had lodged Education Minister’s son in a special examination room at a centre in Humhama and engaged two teachers to write answers on his answer book.

Rather than dismissing Peerzada on the Saroori pattern, Chief Minister has directed Crime Branch to hold a “preliminary inquiry” into the facts published in the daily about Peerzada. He has indicated that action, if any, could be initiated against Peerzada on the basis of the findings of the preliminary inquiry. Talking to mediapersons on the sidelines of an official function at University of Jammu on Wednesday, Chief Minister maintained that he had not ordered any inquiry in the matter. This volte face is said to be the result of Peerzada’s threat in which he has reportedly communicated to top echelons of the government that he could expose a junior Minister of National Conference whose son had taken Class 12th examination in an identically unfair manner.

Separatist-turned-legislator, Rashid asked why Suresh Kalmadis and A Rajas at the Centre were languishing in jails but their counterparts in corruption in the state government were enjoying a field day under the nose of a clean Chief Minister. “Mr Chief Minister, it is not AFSPA in which you need Delhi’s ascent. It is a plain offence in the state in which you have to act without delay in order to retain credibility of your government”, MLA of Langet asked the Chief Minister.

According to Engineer Rashid, CBI investigation had become necessary in the wake of Peerzada having raised fingers on other Ministers in the government. He asserted that a state-level agency like Crime Branch was vulnerable to all pulls and pressures and it was not possible for it to proceed against the Ministers. He said it was surprising that Opposition PDP as well as independent MLAs, like Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami and Hakeem Mohammad Yasin had chosen to be mute spectators to the worst ever academic fraud exposed by media in Jammu and Kashmir.


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