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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Superintendent grilled;
Chairman, other BOSE
officials being arrested

Peerzada begins to blackmail Govt over another Minister’s son

‘Crime Branch should also probe Class 12th exam bungling’

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Feb: In an obvious attempt to get the action against him stalled in the ‘Unfair Means Scam’, Minister of School Education Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, has conveyed to top echelons in the coalition government that Crime Branch’s investigation should extend to recent Class 12th examination. If well placed sources are to be believed, Peerzada has made it clear that if he was singled out for dismissal from the Cabinet, he would reveal publicly how the son of a Minister of State, known for his proximity to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, had been provided same facilitation, as provided to his son, by officials of J&K State Board of School Education.

Embroiled in his foster son’s act of unfair means in Class 10th examination in 2009, Peerzada Sayeed is understood to have made it clear to the government that he alone was not the beneficiary of the undue favour from BOSE. Inspite of his two-liner refutation to the Greater Kashmir scoop, Minister is said to have admitted that his foster son had been the beneficiary of “extraordinary favour” from then Secretary and now Chairman of BOSE, Dr Sheikh Bashir Ahmad, and other officials. He has voluntarily revealed that similar favours had been enjoyed by his foster son in the recently conducted Class 12th examination. 

But, according to sources, Peerzada has also made it unambiguously clear to top echelons of the Government that he would expose “many other VVIPs” in case he was singled out for any action by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. Peerzada has, according to sources, conveyed to the government that the son of a National Conference leader and Minister of State, known for his intimate relationship with Chief Minister, was among the “VVIP sons and daughters” who had taken Class 12th examination, alongwith his foster son Aman Sufan, at Centre No: 823 in Srinagar in October-November 2011 and copied all answers from the books and other printed material made available to these candidates. Under the smokescreen of “security”, BOSE officials had placed relatives of some influential politicians, including those of two Ministers, in a particular room and given them full freedom to pick up answers from text books and other published material.

Sources said that after communicating his threat to the government, Peerzada today drove all the way to University of Jammu where he attended a conference on education which was presided over by none other than Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

Even as Peerzada’s threat seemed to be working and diluting the government’s resolve, Crime Branch proceeded with its exhaustive investigation into the Unfair Means Scam. Informed sources revealed to Early Times that at least half-a-dozen BOSE officials, who had remained associated with conducting the Class 10th examination in November 2009, were being grilled. Those who were called through Police Station Rajbagh and later detained for sustained interrogation, include then Superintendent of the centre at Al-Ameen High School, Tariq Gilani. Unconfirmed reports said that Gilani and a BOSE official, who were grilled for several hours, were finally allowed to return to their respective residences.

Sources said that the Crime Branch sleuths conducted a series of raids at different offices of BOSE, both in Srinagar as well as in Jammu, and seized all records of the examination in question. They said that the role of then Secretary and now Chairman of BOSE, Dr Sheikh Bashir Ahmad, then Deputy Director of Academics Meraj-ud-din Zargar (who has retired from service and is now acting as Principal of Iqbal Memorial School), besides an Academic Officer, namely Aaliya, was under scanner and all of them were “most likely to be arrested later this week”. Sources said that two officials of the rank of Joint Secretary, namely Mr Jallu and Mr Kanth, besides the head masters of Al-Ameen High School Humhama and Vision Public School Humhama, would also be called in for questioning. 

Sources made it clear that current exercise of “preliminary inquiry” would lead to registration of a formal criminal matter and the accused could be arrested immediately after registering of FIR. Much would, however, depend on the orders from Chief Minister’s Secretariat, which could become extraordinarily cautious after Peerzada’s threat to expose an influential MoS of the National Conference.


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