JAMMU — A big recruitment scam in the Handicrafts Department Kashmir, on the fake recruitment letter from the J&K Services Selection Board (JKSSB), has raised question mark on the state of affairs in the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State as three Assistant Training Officers appointed on the fake letter with ‘forged signatures’ of Secretary, SSRB continued to draw salaries for the last about three years besides enjoying other service benefits.
Official sources, quoted by the Daily Excelsior, said that this big recruitment fraud was believed to be committed with the active connivance of some insiders in the J&K Services Selection Board and the Handicrafts Department Kashmir, just to accommodate three blue-eyed persons including two relatives of influential bureaucrats and another, a family member of a leader from ruling party, about three years ago.
Had this case been not exposed, the blue-eyed persons appointed on forged documents, were sure to be inducted in KAS cadre after next promotion as Gazetted officer in some years and retire as HoDs, Additional or Special Secretaries in the J&K Government, the sources added.
The documents revealed that three persons, namely Mir Sajjad Hussain, son of Gulam Mohideen Mir, resident of Pandrethan in Srinagar; Ruby Jan, daughter of Ghulam Nabi Bhat from Nowbugh in Anantnag and Arif Ahmed Bhat, son of Gh Rasool Bhat, resident of Pinglena in Pulwama were appointed as Assistant Handicrafts Training Officers in Kashmir Division vide Recruitment Board’s letter No. SSB/Secy/Sel/AA/2017/2745-47; Dated: 15-03-2018, issued by the then Secretary JKSSB, Tassaduq Hussain Mir, now Additional Commissioner in the Office of Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir.
Thereafter, the then Director Handicrafts, J&K, Mushtaq Ahmed vide order No 380-HD of 2018; Dated: 26-04-2018, with reference to the Administrative approval vide letter No. Ind/DOH-92/97-IV; Dated: 19-4-2018, appointed these three persons as Assistant Handicrafts Training Officers in Kashmir in the pay scale of 9300-34800 + 4200 GP plus other allowances.
While Ruby Jan, a close relative of an officer in the Directorate of Handicrafts Kashmir was posted in district Kulgam, the two other blue-eyed persons – Sajjad Hussain and Arif Ahmed were placed in Baramulla district.
Sources further revealed that these people were drawing an average salary of nearly Rs 70,000 per month with other benefits and during last three years, they have exerted burden of nearly Rs. 75 lakhs on the Government exchequer. Moreover, they deprived the other competent and deserving youth of their right by playing a big fraud in connivance with some people, possibly from JKSSB and Handicrafts department, are sure to face the consequences under Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha’s Administration.
This big fraud came to the limelight after the then Secretary JKSSB, Tassaduq Hussain Mir (Now Additional Commissioner, Kashmir), wrote a letter to the Inspector General of Police, Crime J&K, MK Sinha on 04-12-2020, stating that he has come to know that on the fake and forged letter of JKSSB bearing No. SSB/Secy/Sel/2017/2745-47; Dated: 15-03-2018, forwarded to Commissioner/Secretary to Govt Industries and Commerce Department, appointments of three persons as Assistant Handicrafts Training Officers have been made.
Mir further claimed that he has never recommended such appointments and moreover, letter carries his forged signatures. He also pleaded to register an FIR in this connection and investigate the whole case.
IG Crime, M K Sinha when contacted said that he has received a letter from Additional Commissioner Kashmir (the then Secretary JKSSB) on December 4, 2020 regarding registration of an FIR in connection with appointment of Assistant Training Officers in Handicrafts Department in Kashmir on fake letter, forging his signatures.
The IG said he has directed concerned SSP to lodge an FIR and initiate in-depth investigation into the case. “Whosoever has done wrong, will have to face consequences,” Sinha said.
Chairman, JKSSB, Khalid Jahangir, on being contacted disclosed that he has received a letter from Tassaduq Hussain Mir (the then Secretary JKSSB) with reference to a letter of IG Crime in this connection. He said after scrutiny of the record, it has been found that this office has not made any such recommendation regarding appointment of Assistant Training Officers in Handicrafts department vide letter under reference.
He said under this reference, 13 appointments of Accounts Assistants in Finance Department were made by the Board. The same reference has been made in this forged and fake letter. He said that they have conveyed to the Commissioner/Secretary Industries and Commerce Department and also recommended registration of an FIR.
Khalid said Secretary JKSSB, Sachin Jamwal has forwarded the letter on January 7, 2021 to the Administrative Department of Industries and Commerce Department for necessary and appropriate action in this regard.
Shafqat Islam, Director Handicrafts/Handloom, Kashmir, when contacted, said he came to know about the issue only after receiving a letter from Crime Branch, forwarded by the Additional Commissioner Kashmir, Tassaduq Hussain Mir.
As per the communication from the Administrative Department, these appointments are being cancelled. Moreover, an inquiry has been initiated in this regard.
Replying to a question, the Director said, it happened during April 2018 and the Government would make recovery from these people besides taking action against them and other people involved as per the law.