February 2008 News

Smear Campaign Not To Dissuade Me From Fighting Corruption: Azad

1 February 2008
News Agency of Kashmir

Srinagar: Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has asserted that attempts to drag his name in the forest scandal would not dilute his determination to fight corruption in Jammu & Kashmir. He said he was ready to have CBI inquiry into the alleged wanton exploitation of forest wealth in Doda district in late 80's and early 90's. However, he added that the irregularities probed by the Kundal Committee would not be referred to the central agency. The Chief Minister was talking with media persons here after inspecting some ongoing development projects including the Legislature and museum complexes. Referring to a news story run by a national news channel yesterday and carried by a section of the press today, the Chief Minister said that the report was one sided and highlighted the allegations made by the two tainted officers of the forest department whose misdeeds had been established by the Kundal Committee which recommended their dismissal from service. He said elements who had been proceeded against for corrupt practices since he became the Chief Minister had ganged up and were trying to drag his person into controversies in an attempt to dilute his resolve against corruption. Nothing, he asserted, would dissuade him from his agenda to eradicate the menace from the state. The Chief Minster said that before filing the report, the news channel ought to have ascertained the record of the two officers whose case it was unwittingly pushing forward. He said one of the two officers had dual citizenship and traveled on four assumed names from six residential addresses, four of which were found to be fake. He said the person traveled 23 times between USA and India and stayed in US for about 14 years. He said after his Indian passport had expired he held the post of MD, State Forest Corporation despite being a US citizen. He said he also

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