Srinagar, Nov 11: A sitting Congress legislator–Bashir Ahmad Magray- who is part of the House panel probing allegations of forest land grab against the senior Congress leader and PHE Minister Taj Mohiuddin---on Sunday, alleged that Minister had cheated him by circulating his (Magray’s) fake resignation letter from the membership of the House panel.
Talking to Greater Kashmir over phone, Magray said that he had not quit from the panel and the letter circulated by Taj about his resignation was ‘fake.’
“I have only informed the chairman that I cannot attend the meeting of the Committee scheduled to be held on November 15, but there is no question of I tendering my resignation from the panel,” Magray said.
“I don’t know where from he (Taj) got my letterhead. May be my PSO has provided him the letter head. Taj is cheating me,” said Magray.
He said there is no mention of he withdrawing from the committee in the letter written by him. Earlier, the letter faxed by Taj’s office to this newspaper reads that Magray had withdrawn from the committee that was constituted after Panthers Party legislator Syed Rafiq Shah accused Taj of forest land grab in south Kashmir’s Shopian district.
“You have nominated me as member of the House Committee to see some allegations of land grab against Honb’le Minister Taj Sahab. Its meeting is scheduled to be held on November 15, 2012. I won’t be able to attend the meeting due to some reasons. So I withdraw my name from the committee,” the letter faxed by Taj’s office to GK about “resignation” of Magray reads.
Pertinently, the letter to this newspaper was faxed after Taj’s Personal Assistant, Najib called this reporter from BSNL phone number-9419011985.
“I have sent you the said letter,” Taj told Greater Kashmir late in the evening.
Asked whether Magray had resigned from the Committee, he said, “Yes and letter has reached you.”
Chairman of the Council, Amrit Malhotra, too denied that Magray had resigned from the panel.
“He (Magray) has only expressed his inability to attend the meeting,” Malhotra told Greater Kashmir.
Pertinently, the chairman of the Legislative Council would decide the fate of the panel on Monday in wake of recent developments– resignation of NC legislators from the committee and demand for quashing of the panel by nine Congress legislators including Minister for Medical Education RS Chib.
NC, in a surprise move, on Friday had pulled out its two legislators – Khalid Najib Suharwardy and Bashir Ahmed Veeri- from the five member House Committee that was constituted after Panthers Party legislator, Syed Rafiq Shah had leveled serious allegations of forest land grab against Taj. More surprisingly, the voluntary exit of NC lawmakers came before advancement of opinion by Advocate General, M I Qadri over legal validity of the panel.
Besides resignation of NC legislators on Friday, eight Congress lawmakers - B R Kundal, Naresh Gupta, Amin Bhat, Ali Muhammad Bhat, Jahangir Mir, Jugal Kishore Sharma, Subash Chandar Gupta and Nabroo Gaylson- had also urged LC chairman to quash the committee.
On November 8, Minister for Medical Education, R S Chib had also made a similar demand. Even Taj had himself written four letters to Legislative Assembly Speaker Muhammad Akbar Lone and LC chairman to get the House Committee quashed.
Meanwhile, sources told Greater Kashmir that chairman of the Council Amrit Malhotra is facing tremendous pressure from different quarters to quash the House Committee.