Inquiry Confirms Copying

Inquiry Confirms Copying

8 February 2012
Greater Kashmir
Umer Maqbool

Srinagar: Corroborating the story published by this newspaper, the Crime Branch (CB) of Jammu and Kashmir Police has confirmed use of “unfair means” by Education Minister Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed’s foster son to pass class 10 examination in 2009. The Crime Branch in its report submitted to the Government today, according to sources, indicted six BOSE officials including present chairman Sheikh Bashir Ahmad, then deputy director academics Mehraj-ud-Din Zargar and four others for helping the Minister’s son in copying. The report was submitted to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah by IGP Crime Branch Raja Aijaz Ali in the winter capital this afternoon. A source in the crime branch said the inquiry revealed that Peerzada used his official position to help his son pass the examination. “Most of the BOSE officials during questioning revealed that there were directions from higher-ups to facilitate copying of Minister’s son,” CB report says. The report said there were clearly two hand writings, confirmed by forensic experts, on three answer sheets of the Class 10 exam taken by the Minister’s son. Sayeed is a Congress nominee in the state cabinet. The answer sheets of Urdu paper was, as per probe, written by Mehraj-ud-Din Zargar while answer sheets of Mathematics and Geography were written by Imtiyaz Ahmad an education department official who was posted as Deputy Superintendent at the said centre. Imam Sauban, Peerzada Sayeed’s son, had passed his Class 10 exam in 2009 allegedly with the help from BOSE officials. As the controversy broke out, Chief Minister had announced an inquiry by the Crime Branch which carried out a detailed questioning of the BOSE officials. While the state government and CB went into hibernation and remained incommunicado since this morning, highly placed sources told Greater Kashmir that the report submitted by CB reveals that BOSE and Education Department officials were hand in glove, in assisting the minister’s son, to pass the examination. This newspaper had on January 30 produced clinching evidence about how the BOSE officials assisted Education Minister’s son bearing Roll No. 228211 to use ‘unfair means’ during 10 class examination. During investigation, SSP Crime Branch Abdul Gaffar Malik and his subordinates quizzed more than a dozen officials including BOSE chairman Sheikh Bashir, former joint secretary examination, former assistant secretary secrecy and former deputy director academics. Besides, CB seized number of documents including examination enrollment form of Imam, anonymous complaint forwarded to Chief Minister’s office and Raj Bhavan. The findings, according to the sources, have also laid bare that Urdu, Social Science (Geography) and Mathematics papers of Minister’s son were written in two hand writings. “The answer sheets of the candidate were sent to General Examiner of Questioned Documents who opined that the three answer sheets had two different handwritings,” they said, adding that inquiry says that former deputy director academics, now posted as the principal of prestigious educational institution of the Valley, had written the papers for minister’s son. The inquiry report, according to them, has also pointed out that the supervisory staff, superintendent of the centre and the vigilance team, which conducted checking of the examination centre where Peerzada’s son appeared, were mute spectators to copying. Two of the lady officers, who were part of the inspection team, also let off the Minister’s son, it adds. The inquiry also finds that inter-school migration of Minister’s son from Tyndale Biscoe School to Vision Public School Humhama was done “illegally” by BOSE officials to facilitate copying. Repeated attempts by this reporter to get comments from IGP and SSP Crime Branch proved futile as they did not pick up the phone. Sayeed had to resign earlier also because of allegations of corruption while he was in Ghulam Nabi Azad’s government. He had quit in January 2008 after being accused of demanding and accepting illegal gratification of Rs 40,000 from an independent MLA Shoaib Lone.