Corruption Drives Officers On Warpath In Kashmir
15 May 2007
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: An issue related to corruption in state's social welfare department has driven two senior officers in the state administration on warpath. Senior Superintendent of Police for Kupwara district Vijay Kumar, who is investigating into the alleged misappropriation of funds by a former District Social Welfare officer Mohammad Amin Shah, has complained to the commissioner Secretary Social Welfare that the accused and Director Social Welfare were not cooperating in the investigations. The Director, Dilshadah Khan, on her part, challenges the competence of the SSP to investigate into the matter and says that the SSP was overstepping his brief. Shah is alleged to have misappropriated a portion of special funds (Rs35,64,400) allotted by the government for the construction of Happy Home at Brenwari in Kupwara for children affected in October8 2005- earthquake at Tangdar. The officer is also accused of having taken Rs 50000 as bribe from each candidate selected as Anganwari worker. A case under FIR No: 02-2007 u-s 5(2) PC Act, 420, 467 RPC was registered against Shah in Kupwara Police Station. Police have launched investigations into the case. However, they complain that the accused officer and director social welfare (SW) were not cooperating into the investigations. SSP, in a written communiqué to commissioner secretary (SW), copy of which has been marked to the chief secretary also, has said that the accused officer (Mohammad Amin Shah) was repeatedly asked to produce relevant records for the disposal of the case but he did not cooperate. 'He (Shah) first got himself attached with the Director Social Welfare Office Srinagar and did not cooperate with the investigation agency. Latter the officer submitted an application mentioning therein that the said record lies with the Director office', SSP wrote. 'This office made various requests to the Director Social Welfare vide letter 936 dated 23.03.07 and 07-1.65-68 dated 02- 04-2007 to provide the said record to this office so that the case be brought to its logical conclusion. But the Director refused to provide the same for the best reasons known to her and thereby the investigation has hampered for the non-availability for the same', SSP wrote further. Dilshadah Khan, Director (SW) admitted that allegations were leveled against Shah but said that the SSP had no jurisdiction to investigate into the matter. 'We are conducting a departmental inquiry into it and a special officer has been assigned the duty', she told the Hindustan Times. SSP is overstepping his brief. It is not his job. His job is to maintain law and order', Director said and alleged that the SSP was harassing her staff in the district. 'Our district office has been shut there for the past three months. Nobody wants to go there as police is harassing them', she said. Director said that the allegations against Shah were investigated by the vigilance organization as well. 'They (vigilance organization) have cleared him of all charges', she said. However the Vigilance report, a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times, confirms the irregularities in purchase of some item and computer accessories by the accused office upto the tune of 0ver Rs 3 lakh. The Vigilance Organization has recommended formal case to be registered against the officer.