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Friday, July 3, 2015

J&K should adopt PPP mode: Dr Nagpal

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jul 2: Asia’s iconic hospital administrator and creator of J&K's prestigious Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) in 1978-82, Dr Ajit K. Nagpal, said that several services problem including the cardinal Emergency Services could not be addressed effectively until the State adopts the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode on the pattern of some South and Central Indian states.

Dr Nagpal, who is now Chairman & Director General of Dubai-based Amity University Middle East Initiative told STATE TIMES in an exclusive interview that the heath Task Force during Omar Abdullah’s regime had recommended operation of the ambulance services in J&K in PPP mode on the pattern of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Gujurat. He said that as per his knowledge, on recommendation of the Task Force, J&K Legislative Assembly had also passed a law that would enable the State to adopt and introduce the PPP mode.

Dr Nagpal was a prominent member of the health Task Force.

He said that there was an identified requirement of around 100 specialised and critical care ambulances for hospitals in J&K. "Even if government will provide enough funds for its existing ambulance system, it will not work. J&K has a golden opportunity as, lately, NITI Ayog has authorised the States to take such decisions independent of the Centre", Dr Nagpal asserted.

He revealed that there was tremendous scope of involvement of private sector as many business houses had the ambulance operations under PPP mode as a priority in their corporate social responsibility (CSR). “Some of them have provided not only the vehicles and machinery but also the experienced staff to the States which have engaged them in PPP mode”, Dr Nagpal informed.

He said that he was waiting for his first meeting with the new CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. "Unfortunately there were floods in September last year and thereafter no meeting of Task Force could take place. State was also preoccupied with transit of power and elections. I didn't want to bother the State government over the months", Dr Nagpal said. He disclosed that he was in touch with CM's Secretariat and Commissioner-Secretary Health Dr Mandeep K. Bhandari.


Mufti Govt. doesn't respond

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jul 2: "kisi din mere daftar aajao. Mein temhen samjhadoonga yeh kya hota hai" (Come to my office someday. I will teach you what this all is), Minister of Health & Medical Education Lal Singh said on phone when STATE TIMES attempted to know if Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s government had any plan to acquire critical care ambulances for the State’s major and district hospitals and why the only two CCAs had been attached to only Governor and Chief Minister. And, true to his style, Lal Singh dropped the phone tersely, at 7.44 pm on Thursday.

Commissioner-Secretary H&ME Dr M.K. Bhandi too did not respond, either to a call on his phone at 7.30 p.m. or a question delivered on his WhatsApp thereafter. He was very much online when the communication went to him successfully.

Director Health Services Kashmir Dr Sumir Matoo was no different. He too did not respond to the two calls on his mobile phone.

J&K has only 2 critical care ambulances: one with Guv, one with CM

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jul 2: Three years back, eminent physician Dr Girija Dhar, who served on a host of senior positions including member of J&K State Public Service Commission from 1992 to 1995 after her retirement as Principal of Government Medical College Srinagar, suffered a minor cardiac arrest when she was in a conference chaired by Governor N.N. Vohra at SKICC. Governor did her the favour of sending her to the State’s only tertiary care hospital, Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), by his critical care ambulance (CCA). Even on that occasion, the ambulance’s ICCU was not made operational and the vehicle was used just as a carrier. That arguably was the first---and till date the last---use of the state-of-the-art critical care ambulance attached to Raj Bhawan probably since 1998.

Officials in Ministry of Health and Medical Education (H&ME) as well as Directorate of Health Services (DHS) Kashmir, including incharge of State Health Transport Organisation (SHTO) Dr Abdul Kareem, confirmed to STATE TIMES that the State government had only two CCAs. Ever since these were procured 17 years ago, one has remained attached to Governor’s cavalcade at Raj Bhawan and another to Chief Minister’s. Fortunately, there has been neither a militant attack nor any other accident or medical complication that would have led to a VVIP’s transit to a hospital by the CCA.

In fact, the State’s aircraft, or an air ambulance called from New Delhi, has been used more for recovery and carriage of a few government officials. Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah sent a Superintendent of Police Mr Zahid’s daughter to AIIMS when doctors at SKIMS declared her critical on a day in the evening. Previously, former Speaker Akbar Lone was also carried to New Delhi by the State plane.

Now Minister of Education and then Secretary to Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Naeem Akhtar was privileged to fly to AIIMS by an air ambulance when he suffered a cardiac problem due to his main artery blockage. Then SP Security with Raj Bhawan Ramesh Kumar Jhalla also flew by an air ambulance though his relatives paid a sizable amount to it from their pocket.

Clearly, there is a mechanism in place for VVIPs and VIPs. But what about others? “Nothing. Death is the first possibility. If it doesn’t happen, that’s a patient’s sheer good luck”, said a senior official associated with Hospital Administration of the SKIMS. He said that some hospitals had their own fleets of ordinary ambulances but none of them had a CCA.

In 2009, when Sham Lal Sharma assumed charge as Minister of Health, he made tall claims of the acquisition of 30 CCAs, one each for all district hospitals and a few more for the trauma centres he claimed to build at some spots on Srinagar-Jammu highway. What actually arrived in was a number of Mobile Medical Units. “These are fitted with ECG machine etc. but are actually meant for the use of medical camps”, Dr Kareem explained. Some of them have been relieved of ECG and have been decaying like the one at District Hospital of Budgam.

A senior physician at SMHS Hospital elaborated that a CCA is actually supposed to be equipped with a full Intensive Care Unit. “It should have a folding emergency stretcher, stretcher-cum-trolley-cum wheelchair, scoop stretcher, a full vacuum kit filled with all kinds of splints, suction pump, resuscitation equipment, transport emergency ventilators, portable defibrillator, monitor and pacemaker, computerised ECG machine, portable vital signs monitor, gas pipelining with panel, facility for transmission of data from ambulance to the hospital, a dependable heating and AC system, refrigerator, orothoryngeal suigraph for adult children and infants, GIS, GPS and vehicle tracking system, transceivers, pulse oximeter  and a suitable oxygen inhalation equipment”, he said. Only the two with Governor and CM have some of these equipments.

In addition to two experienced physicians, each CCA needs a technical expert for handling its machinery, communication and computer equipment.

Casual plans to “upgrade” some of the already procured ordinary ambulances to so-called CCAs went haywire for six years.

Bureaucratic sources said that Omar Abdullah’s government constituted a special Task Force on Health for providing advice for upgradation and improvement of services and health infrastructure. It made several recommendations but these were never implemented for “poor deliverance” of the government. Asia’s iconic hospital administrator and creator of the prestigious SKIMS under then Chief Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah’s leadership, Dr A.K. Nagpal, was also associated as a key member of the health Task Force in J&K.

In a special telephonic conversation with STATE TIMES from New Delhi, Dr Nagpal revealed that the Task Force had thoroughly deliberated on the need to equip all major hospitals with a network of the modern ambulances under Private Public Partnership (PPP) mode.

“Unfortunately there has been no meeting of the Task Force after last year’s floods. I am in touch with the new Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s office and Commissioner-Secretary M.K. Bhandari. There can be a breakthrough after our meeting with CM materialises”, Dr Nagpal said.

[For Dr Nagpal’s detailed interview, see a related item in this issue of STATE TIMES].


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Denied entry to hospital on time for CM’s visit, Posha’s baby died in Budgam

Woman narrates how her baby’s body was sent home in a hired Tata Sumo on donations collected by drivers

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
Nengarpora (Budgam), Jul 1: Oblivious of the suffering patients and their attendants are subjected to around a VVIP’s visit to a hospital due to a security drill, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed waded through corridors and a ward of Aga Syed Yousuf Memorial District Hospital of Budgam on June 10. Minutes before his arrival in the company of a thick VIP entourage, 27-day-old Adfar Yasin, the first child of Posha (26) and Mohammad Yasin Rather (21) of Bugchhulla Nengarpora, died on the premises for reaching late.

“As her condition started deteriorating in the morning, I and my younger sister carried Adfar in a Khansahab-Budgam Tata Sumo. In the town we were stopped and denied entry towards the hospital as some Minister was about to reach there on a visit. Everybody requested Police to allow us. By the time, Police relented and removed the barbed wire, it was too late. Still, only my sister was allowed in with the patient and I was asked to sit outside. After some time, they brought my child back, dead”, Posha narrated to STATE TIMES.

Adfar was born at Kashmir’s main maternity hospital, Lal Ded, on May 14, around a year after Posha’s and Yasin’s wedding. At the nearest Public Health Centre of Dabipora, there was neither the treatment of Posha’s satisfaction nor an ambulance.

According to Posha and her husband, who came later, the hospital staff handed over to them their baby girl’s body and told them to go back. Even the three available ambulances were not permitted movement around the CM’s arrival. Drivers collected a donation of Rs 840 and a private Tata Sumo, JK01L-2460, imploring its driver and owner Manzoor Ahmad Dar to drop the family at their home. For Dar, it was a routine business.

Chief Medical Officer and the DH’s former Medical Superintendent Dr Ghulam Mohammad Dar dispelled the impression that the baby died under treatment during CM’s visit. “She was brought dead. Our staff arranged for the transportation and sent the family back home”, Dr Dar told STATE TIMES.

On June 23, Dr Dar’s successor at DH, Dr Gazala Tabbasum, removed the best of the vehicles, JK04D-8826, from the four-strong ambulance fleet and reserved the same for her personal use. Her Order No: DHB/498 dated 23-06-2015 says that the ambulance would remain “in the hospital all the times and shall not leave the hospital premises unless and until any dire emergency of referral of patients arises”.

But, she travels daily in the same ambulance, a Maruti Eeco, from her Pirbagh residence to the DH and back home. She retains the keys in her personal custody. On the same route, 10 brand new Force Traveller ambulances, which have been procured in a fleet of 125 vehicles by Directorate of Health Services Kashmir through State Motor Garage as long back as in April 2014, lie decaying on the premises of PHC Ompora.

Posha’s family of three---herself, husband Yasin and mother-in-law Taja---are reconciling to their tragedy and helpless while resuming their farming. Yasin has abandoned his studies in 8th standard after his father Abdul Rahim Rather died of asthma at SMHS Hospital a few years back.

 “Whatever we had in hand, we spent on their marriage and Posha’s hospitalisation. We have got to work hard at the farms if we have to live. So we are all here”, said 65-year-old Taja.


Mufti’s axe falls on 63 ‘deadwood’ officials

Several engineers, KAS officers, MD of J&K SRTC shown the door

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jul 1: Four months after it assumed office, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir has terminated the services of as many as 63 officials who include Managing Director of J&K State Road Transport Corporation, several engineers, KAS officers and around 30 junior officials from different services.

Addressing a news conference here on Wednesday, senior PDP leader and Minister of Higher Education Naeem Akhtar, who also functions as the State government’s authorised spokesperson, said that the 63 officials had been sent on forced retirement on the basis of a performance review by a five-member high level committee headed by Chief Secretary Mohammad Iqbal Khanday.

“Now on, the performance review would be a regular feature”, Mr Akhtar said. He elaborated that Chief Minister’s Principal Secretary Bhat Bhushan Vyas, Principal Secretary Home, Commissioner-Secretary General Administration Department (GAD) Gazzanfer Hussain and Law Secretary Mohammad Ashraf Mir were other members of the committee.

Akhtar said out of the 63 officers and official, whose services have been terminated, 25 involve trap cases by various anti-graft bodies, 11 include cases involving disproportionate assets and 27 are miscellaneous cases.

He said the sacking of these officers and officials involved invoking of the existing clause of J&K Civil Services Rules , as per which the Government had to assess the performance of an officer/official on completion of 48 years of age or 22 years of service.

“By today’s action the Government has just reiterated the essentiality of this clause,” he said and added that performance review of the civil servants would be henceforth a permanent and regular feature in administration and the services of the officers/officials, whose performance was not upto the mark or who had integrity issues, would be dispensed with.

Akhtar said this was a part of the larger process of infusing accountability and transparency in governance. He said the Government was also going to strengthen State Accountability Commission (SAC) to ensure transparency at political levels.

Even as the 63 officials sacked in the first go include around 30 junior officials like Deputy Forester Tariq Irshad Handoo who has lost his job for allegedly accepting the bribe of Rs 500 from a timber dealer in Doodh Ganga Range in Chadoura area several years back, MD J&K SRTC Jagmohan Sigh Tandon, former Deputy Transport Commissioner Bhumesh Sharma, DGM J&K PCC Suresh Kumar Rekhi, Chief Engineer CVPP Ltd Jammu KK Gupta, Executive Engineers Sher Mohammd Khan, Mohammad Shafi Bhat, Ghulam Nabi Dar, Abdul Rashid Shah and Ravi Kumar Sharma besides Medical officer Dr Riyaz Dar, Dr Fayaz Ahmad Banday and Dr Manoj Bhagat, Chief Accounts Officer Mushtaq Ahmad Baba and KAS officers Mohammad Yousuf Bhat (former CEO of Sonmarg Development Authority and Pahalgam Development Authority) and Babu Ram have also been removed from government service.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

How fresh ambulances worth Rs 10 cr decayed in Omar’s, Mufti’s Govt

Director Health Kashmir procured 125 ambulances out of NRHM funds but these were left unutilised for 14 months even as patients died on way and hospitals craved for vehicles

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jun 30: Hours before Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s maiden visit to Budgam’s Aga Syed Yousuf Memorial District Hospital on June 10, security barricades kept a part of the district headquarters out of bounds for ordinary civilians. A poor couple from Bugchhulla village carried a 9-month-old baby for treatment. Entry was denied by Police and security columns towards the hospital. Some Good Samaritans tried to call an ambulance but they were told ‘we have none’. By the time, CM concluded his visit, the infant was dead. Drivers at the hospital collected an amount of Rs 800 by donation and sent the body by a hired Tata Sumo back to the mother’s parental home at Nengarpora, Khansahab.

There are 8 drivers but only three ambulances at Budgam’s District Hospital (DH). A well-equipped Mobile Medical Unit [JK01K-4881], which the drivers wrongly call ‘critical care ambulance’, has been lying defunct on the premises ever since one each of such was procured under the initiative of then Health Minister Sham Lal Sharma in 2009-10 for all district hospitals. Its ECG and other equipment have disappeared. “It hasn’t been utilised and has become non-functional over the years”, says Dr G.M. Dar who was brought in recently---first as MS and then as Chief Medical Officer (CMO).

Out of the three ‘workable’ ambulances, the best one [Eeco JK04B-8226] has been reserved by the new MS Dr Gazala Tabbasum for her personal use. She travels by it daily from and back to her Pirbagh residence.

In CMO’s own residential block of Soibug, there are four drivers and no ambulance. A dilapidated van runs as ambulance for Sub District Hospital [SDH] Soibug and its ancillary Public Health Centres [PHCs] of Wadwan and Wahabpora.

For Budgam district’s one DH, 9 SDHs, 40 PHCs, 30 ante-PHCs and 141 Sub Centres, there are total of 51 ambulances. Drivers, patients and attendants---even doctors off-the-record---insist that the requirement is over 100. However, Dr Dar maintained that the district had a shortfall of 19 ambulances.

This is just a sample. All other districts in Kashmir have the same story: somewhere only drivers, somewhere only ambulances, somewhere neither. With the Medical Officers, CMOs and Medical Superintendents crying for ambulances, nobody moved in the three successive regimes of Omar Abdullah, Governor N.N. Vohra and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in the last around two years. “Neither Sham Lal Sharma (former Health Minister) nor Saleem-ur-Rehman (who has been unceremoniously removed by Mufti’s government earlier this month and replaced by Dr Sumir Matoo) felt accountable to anybody. Ex-CM’s Political Secretary Tanvir Sadiq had to make a hundred calls to secure one ambulance for an area in Srinagar”, said an insider.

Well placed official sources in Health & Medical Education Department revealed to STATE TIMES that in 2013-14, Government of India-funded National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) provided an amount of Rs 15.30 cr to Directorates of Health Services in Kashmir and Jammu for total replacement of the old Eicher ambulances by the upgraded Force Traveller [FT]. It was decided to procure 125 FT ambulances [(9+D) 3350 mm wheel base with cold start device upto minus 8 degree Celsius) for Kashmir and 75 for Jammu.

After a process by the facilitator State Motor Garage (SMG), supply order was placed with Force Motors Ltd which sent the requisitioned consignments through its Jammu-based dealer Republic Motors. On May 29, 2014, Director SMG, G A Sofi, informed DHS Kashmir and Jammu to lift the ordered supplies. At the rate of Rs 7,65,439 each vehicle, payment of Rs 15,30,87800 was released for procurement of the 200 Force Traveller ambulances through SMG.

Even as all the 75 ambulances for Jammu division were lifted on time and distributed among different hospitals, DHS Kashmir did not respondent to Director SMG’s May 29, 2014, communication for several months. A high level committee headed by Commissioner-Secretary Health and Medical Education, which had a number of senior officials as members, failed to act.

The SMG officials revealed that the ambulances for Kashmir started arriving in earlier this year and these were parked at different places---Provincial Medical Store Barzullah, State Health Transport Organisation (SHTO) Bemina, Kashmir Nursing Home Sonwar etc. As the Medical Officers kept begging for the vehicles, the ambulances kept decaying under the vagaries of weather. Though the warranty stands for three years, officials revealed that failure to maintain a schedule of preliminary operation and servicing renders the warranty void.

The first movement was witnessed last week only when the SHTO authorities decided to shift the idle ambulance fleets due to the fresh flood threat to safer places, including PHC Ompora Budgam, where STATE TIMES captured 10 of them on camera on Tuesday. Last fortnight over 50 of these were found decaying at Barzulla.

Sources said it was only after Saleem-ur-Rehman’s attachment that the process of distributing the decaying brand new ambulances started.

The incumbent DHS Kashmir, Dr Sumir Matoo, said that the ambulances were currently being supplied to different hospitals. He said that he would be able to speak on this subject only after Wednesday’s district development board meeting. Sources insisted that just 10 to 20 ambulances had been distributed in June.

Deputy Director Headquarters at DHS Kashmir Dr Abdul Kareem, who is also holding the charge of SHTO, said: “The Honourable Minister and Director had to take a call. It was their responsibility to provide the fleet to the needy hospitals. My role was limited to obeying their orders”. He admitted that over 100 brand new ambulances were left unnecessarily unutilized for about a year and were not supplied to the requisitioning units. Asked why, Dr Kareem said: “First there were floods, then elections and Moral Code of Conduct, then change of regime, then transfer of Director”.

Official sources dismissed all these reasons as “lame excuses”. They said that in any other Indian State, Police would be forced to file criminal cases against the delinquent officials whose carelessness and non-accountability made hundreds of patients die before reaching hospital for want of an ambulance.

Mission Director NRHM Dr Yashpal Sharma told STATE TIMES that “according to my information” all these ambulances had been provided to the hospitals except 25 each in Kashmir and Jammu which had been kept for “upgradation to critical care ambulances”. When Dr Kareem’s admission was pointed out to him, Dr Sharma said, “Then the Director Health has provided wrong information to the administrative Secretary”. H&ME sources asserted that it was a known practice in the department that the senior officers and Minister incharge keep a reserve of the vehicles and ambulances. “They keep it for obliging certain Ministers, MLAs and MPs. It helps builds up their PR and helps them remain in the good books of the powers that be”, said a senior officer.

[To be continued tomorrow]


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Storm in NC over Sajjad Lone statement
Omar calls meeting as Sagar seeks action against Akbar Lone etc.
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, Jun 29: National Conference General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar and former Minister Chowdhary Mohammad Ramzan have taken exception to their own party colleagues’ act of disowning a statement that castigated the Peoples Conference Chairman and Cabinet Minister Sajjad Lone over his welcoming RSS to Kashmir. With the storm brewing up in the NC, acting President and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has called an emergency meeting at his residence here on Tuesday.

Informed sources revealed to State Times that all the six leaders---Mohammad Shafi Uri, Shariefuddin Shariq, Mir Saifullah, Qaisar Jamsheed Lone, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Chowdhary Mohammad Ramzan---in whose name a statement against Sajjad Lone had been issued on last Friday, have been asked on behalf of Omar to attend the meeting at his Gupkar Road residence at 1600 hours on Tuesday.

According to these sources, the meeting has been called for seeking an explanation from Mohammad Akbar Lone (MLA Sonawari and former Minister of Higher Education), Mohammad Shafi Uri (former MP who has functioned as Minister for decades), Shariefuddin Shariq (former MP), Mir Saifullah (former Minister of Law) and MLC Qaisar Jamsheed Lone as to why they publicly distanced from a statement issued by the NC spokesperson on authorisation of the General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar.

While as Omar had caught Sajjad on a wrong foot and engaged him in a controversy on Twitter, Akbar Lone was the first who told media that he had no knowledge of the statement issued against Sajjad. He told a news agency that the statement had been issued without his knowledge and consent as he was busy on that particular day in the District Development Board meeting of Bandipore district.

This apparently prompted Mohammad Shafi Uri, Saifullah, Shariq and Jamsheed Lone to follow. In their separately issued statements they invariably distanced from the NC press note, denting the credibility of the party spokesman Janiad Azeem Matoo.

Sources said that Ramzan and Sagar agitated the matter with Omar who was currently in New Delhi. He conveyed his decision to fix the meeting at his residence in Srinagar on Tuesday. One of the well-placed sources in NC disclosed that both, Ramzan as well as Sagar, have sought disciplinary action against Akbar Lone and others and even threatened to resign from their party positions.

Sources said it was General Secretary Sagar who called Ramzan on Friday and desired him to sign a statement against Sajjad. Sagar wanted the statement to go in the name of the leaders from Sajjad’s Kupwara district as the previous statement on alleged desecration of Jamia Masjid by Police had been released in the name of spokesman. After a deal of discussion with Akbar Lone and others, the NC statement against Sajjad was issued in the evening.

“Akbar Lone was eager to issue the statement. He conveyed his consent before the statement was issued. It came as a surprise to Sagar, Ramzan and others when Lone gave relief to Sajjad and together with four others discredited their own party”, said a senior NC leader. He alleged that Akbar Lone had maintained his links to Sajjad since the days of his association with PC. “But more surprising are the statements of Shafi Uri and Mir Saifullah. They have salvaged Sajjad from the whirlpool of controversy”, he added.


VOK files final charge-sheet against 75 Revenue, J&K Bank officials for Rs 22 cr embezzlement

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


SRINAGAR, Jun 29: Nearly five years after it surfaced dramatically in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, Vigilance Organisation has concluded the investigation and filed the final charge-sheet in Rs 22 crore National Highway land compensation scam against 75 officials of the State Revenue Department and Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd.

Pending sanction to the prosecution of 14 bank officials from Chairman of J&K Bank Mushtaq Ahmad, officials of the Police Station of Vigilance Organisation Kashmir (VOK) had filed charge sheet against 61 officials of the Revenue Department in the court of Special Judge Anti-Corruption Haq Nawaz Zargar on April 28 this year. Following receipt of the prosecution sanction from the Chairman, the VOK officials on Monday filed the final charge-sheet under section 173 Criminal Procedure Code involving 14 J&K Bank officials in addition to 61 Revenue officials in the same court in Pulwama.

The VOK sources told State Times that the charges in embezzlement of Rs 22,11,89400 had been established against 76 officials. One of them expired during the course of investigation. The sizable amount of money had been fraudulently withdrawn from the accounts of Collector Land Acquisition Pulwama Adil Rashid Naqash out of the funds meant for compensation to the land owners for four-laning of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.

Sources said that VOK has constituted a special team of prosecutors for pursuing the embezzlement case in the court as all documentary evidences had been collected and statements recorded.

Case FIR No. 37/2010 U/s 5(1) (c) 5(1) (d), 5(2) J&K P.C. Act 2006 R/W 120-B, 409, 468, 471 RPC was registered in the VOK Police Station on November 8, 2010 on the reference of the State government. The case was initially investigated by Police Station Awantipora through FIR No. 174/2010 registered on October 5, 2010.

The SIT headed by VOK’s SP incharge of Anantnag, Pulwama and Budgam districts conducted a fresh investigation. Charges were established against 75 officials including Collector Naqash. On receiving sanction to the prosecution from State Revenue Departments, challan was filed in April 2015 against 61 Revenue officials. Sanction to the prosecution of 14 J&K Bank officials came from the Chairman of the bank recently.

Sources said that pending the VOK investigation, the bank’s Vigilance Wing held its own inquiry into the allegations against 14 officials including managers of Awantipora and Letapora branches. While as the services of some of the accused bank officials were terminated, others were made liable to different punitive and disciplinary actions.

The VOK investigation revealed that the accused Collector Adil Rashid Naqash, Land Acquisition Clerk of DC office Pulwama Parvez Indrabi, officers and officials of J&K Bank Awantipora and Letapora, including then Branch Head of Lethpora in league with the private accused person Farukh Jahanzeb alias Rinku S/o Ghulam Mohi-ud-din Bhat alia Mahi Pandit R/o Awantipora, Showkat Ahmad Dar and others hatched a conspiracy and in league with each other managed to embezzle Rs. 22,11,89,400/- from the official accounts of Collector.

The account had been opened illegal in business unit Letapora of J&K Bank over a period of 18 months with full knowledge and active connivance of the officials.. The money was initially transferred to the accounts of the private persons on the basis of fake and fraud authority letters and even without any authority. The money was invested in illegal purchasing and selling of lands.

After the Government accorded sanction for launching prosecution against the public servant, the challan of the case comprising of approximately 2000 pages was produced before the court on Monday.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

PDP MP Karra calls Mufti’s Police “law unto itself”
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jun 23: Outsmarting the Opposition National Conference as well as the separatist conglomerate Hurriyat Conference, senior PDP leader and Lok Sabha member from Central Kashmir, Tariq Hameed Karra , has strongly condemned what he called the unwarranted police action inside the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar.
In a statement issued late on Saturday night, Karra  held the Police responsible for “direct firing of tear-smoke shells inside the Masjid and that too during Ramadan”. He called it “a highly condemnable and deplorable act”. He demanded the police personnel involved in this sacrilegious act should be taken to task for hurting the sentiments of the people.
Karra said the police seem to have become “an authority unto itself in Kashmir” especially after the 2010 unrest “as none of the cops had to face legal action for the killing of around 120 civilians including teenagers on the streets of the Valley”.

“Ironically even the political executive now seems to be subservient to the haughtiness of the police as they are watching the situation helplessly,” he said and added that while police seems to have” failed in performing its routine duties including tackling crime and streamlining traffic, the force has mastered the art of letting loose reign of repression on the hapless Kashmiris even on minor provocations”.
Karra also condemned the police action inside the Kashmir University campus and accused the police of turning the situation back to early nineties by such actions. He also demanded immediate release of the arrested student of Pulwama district who has been detained for his alleged involvement in a militancy related incident. The University campuses have witnessed protest demonstrations against the student’s arrest and demanded his release.
Karra’s assertion is significant in the sense that none other than his party PDP’s chief patron and Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is holding the Home portfolio. 

Karra called upon the State’s political executive to come forward with the much-needed assertion of authority on issues pertaining to the sentiments of the people and ensure a turnaround in the security scenario and developmental scenario as was visible on the ground after 2002 elections.