‘More money siphoned off, more officials involved’
RS 20 CR PULWAMA LAND SCAM
Srinagar, Aug 15: Investigation by the State Vigilance Organization into Rs 22-crore land acquisition scam Pulwama, in which a top administrative official was sacked by the state government, is pointing towards further misappropriation of public exchequer and is likely to throw up names of more officials.
The Vigilance has seized over 35 kanals of land purchased by some of the accused worth crores of rupees, sources told Greater Kashmir.
Sources said apart from the main case (FIR No 37/2011) regarding misappropriation of Rs 22 crore which were meant for acquiring of land for widening of highway in Lethpora, the SVO is probing two separate cases (Fir No 20/2011 and FIR No 13/2012) in which “huge” public funds have been fraudulently siphoned off against fake beneficiaries.
Last month the J&K government dismissed Kashmir Administrative Service officer, Adil Rashid Naqash after a departmental inquiry held him guilty of financial irregularities, misappropriation and embezzlement of Rs 20 crore during his posting as Additional Deputy Commissioner and Collector land acquisition of Pulwama district. The money was meant for the widening of highway in Lethpora.
Names of various officials from JK Bank’s Lethpora and Awantipora branches, employees from revenue department and names of five private persons Showkat Ahmad Dar, Farukh Jahanzeb, Ghulam Muhammad Bhat/Taja, Shameem Ahmad Bhat and Fayaz Ahmad Khanday surfaced in the investigation.
“In one of the two offshoot cases under investigation, over Rs 20 lakh were drawn by the accused against non-existent land by managing fake land records from revenue department,” sources said.
They said similarly in the second case the accused had followed the same practice and withdrawn lakhs of rupees. “We are assessing the loss to the public exchequer which can go up to tens of lakhs of rupees apart from the main scam,” sources said.
The cases are being investigated by SVO’s Special Investigation Team headed by Superintendent of Police Hyder Badhana.
The investigation has revealed that the accused purchased around 37.5 kanals of land from the embezzled money- 7.5 kanals in Nowgam and around 30 kanals in Tral and Awantipora. Besides, the investigation has revealed that the main accused Farukh Jahanzeb purchased a house costing around one crore in Rawalpora area from the siphoned off funds.
Naqash had accepted Rs 20 lakh from Jahanzeb for purchase of a house at Cooperative Colony, Peerbagh in March 2010. Naqash had allegedly facilitated transfer of Rs 22,11,89,400 to the accounts of the private persons, thereby embezzling the money.
“The land has been seized by the vigilance,” sources said.
The sources said many new names involved in the scam have come to the fore. “These include retired Assistant Commissioner Revenue and his then staff, bank employees and some private persons,” sources said. So far the number of persons found involved in the scam are in dozens.”
Lastupdate on : Wed, 15 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 15 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 16 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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RS 20 CR PULWAMA LAND SCAM
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