Peerzada’s Fate To Be Decided In 24 Hours: Omar

Peerzada’s Fate To Be Decided In 24 Hours: Omar

9 February 2012
Rising Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: Hinting at the possible exist of Education Minister, Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed following his indictment by Crime Branch in the unfair means case of his foster son, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Thursday said the minister’s fate would be decided in the next 24 hours. Meanwhile, sources said the Congress high command has already taken a call on the sensitive matter by asking Peerzada to resign. Talking to reporters in New Delhi, Omar said the findings of Crime Branch have been discussed with his alliance partner Congress. 'We will decide action in 24-36 hours. The minister is not accused of helping his son,' Omar said but added the probe had not yet established at whose behest the tampering of three answer sheets had been done. The chief minister said he was not lenient with anyone. 'I am just following the natural course of justice that his guilt has to be established. I can't go on presumptions. The guilt must be established. In this case, the minister happens to be the Education Minister also. Therefore, a thorough probe is a must,' he said. Meanwhile, tweeting on the matter, the chief minister said the crime branch had not named people who influenced cheating and confined the entire unfair means story to a proverb-‘Ceaser’s wife’s story’. The development comes a day after the crime branch filed a report in the unfair means case of Peerzada’s foster son, Imam Soban Bhat. “Syed heads the department about which allegations have been leveled and that fact is inescapable,” the chief minister wrote on the microblogging website Twitter. Omar said he was discussing the matter with his allies as the minister holds a portfolio that belongs to Congress. “Expect further action in the matter tomorrow,” he tweeted, hinting that the discussion between him and his allies would lead to some concrete action against the minister and Board of School Education (BOSE) officials involved. Saying that the crime branch in its report had not named anyone who had influenced the cheating, the chief minister describes the Peerzada fiasco in a proverb – “Ceaser’s wife story.” Meanwhile, sources said the issue cropped up in a crucial meeting of Congress held late night in Mumbai, where in senior Congress leaders like Saifudin Soz, Mohan Prakash and others participated. Sources said the meeting discussed the issue threadbare and the decision was conveyed to the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who is believed to convey the same to the chief minister. Sources said Congress leadership has asked the Education Minister Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed to tender his resignation. They said that Peerzada may submit his resignation by tomorrow morning. Omar recently apprised Sonia about the crime branch findings in the case dating back to class 10 exams held in 2009. According to sources, the crime branch report has indicted Peerzada in the case along with six board officials, who had played a direct role in writing Urdu and Mathematics paper of Soban. Following the unearthing of the case and the subsequent public anger, the chief minister ordered an inquiry by crime branch to be completed in a week. The Crime Branch had concluded there were some irregularities after it found two hand writings on three answer sheets of the Class 10 exam taken by the student. Meanwhile, sources in the Congress said indictment of Peerzada has put entire State unit of Congress in a tight spot as the party’s image is at stake. “Sayeed is considered as a key Congress campaigner in South Kashmir and close to union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad,” said sources. NC sources on the other hand maintained that chief minister had enough powers to either exonerate or sack any minister in his cabinet. “However, coalition compulsions may play a spoil sport in sacking Peerzada,” they said. It may be recalled that former Congress minister for R&B, G M Saroori was sacked by the chief minister in the exam fudging case of his (Saroori’s) daughter on August 27, 2010. The action was supported by the PCC chief who had asserted that no indiscipline would be tolerated in the party. A close aide of chief minister said any decision regarding Peerzada would have a Congress high command’s nod. “It is a must as this was the case in Saroori’s case too. There is no need to jump the gun, time will decide Peerzada’s fate,” he said.